ESMValTool contribution to CMIP6

We argue that the CMIP community has reached a critical juncture at which many baseline aspects of model evaluation need to be performed much more efficiently to enable a systematic and rapid performance assessment of the large number of models participating in CMIP, and we announce our intention to implement such an evaluation system for CMIP6 (Eyring et al., 2016). The ESMValTool will be used to produce a broad characterization of CMIP DECK and historical simulations as soon as new CMIP6 model experiments are published to the ESGF.

Within the German CMIP6 project, an ESMValTool result website has been created (see This website currently shows results produced with the ESMValTool for CMIP5 simulations. This website will be updated with CMIP6 results as soon as the model output is submitted to the ESGF. The result browser includes a search function that allows you to sort the results by (a) ESMValTool recipe, (b) Projects, (c) CMIP6 Realms, (d) Themes, (e) Domain, (f) Plot Type, (g) Statistics, (h) References, (i) Variables, (j) Models, and (k) Results. Each figure includes a figure caption that is displayed alongside with the figure, and also includes metadata that are displayed when you click on the figure. These metadata include the ESMValTool configuration used to calculate and plot the figure, Program’s output, Notes, and Results. This is possible via the newly introduced tags. It would be great if you could check this for the recipes you have developed and let us know in case you spot anything that is wrong.

The CMIP6 evaluation results produced with the ESMValTool are made publically available on this website without password restriction. Initially this website shows CMIP5 results that are already published. Newly produced results for CMIP6 will initially be water-marked and will only be made available without water-mark once quality control has happened and possible papers have been written. This strategy has been supported, encouraged, and approved by the WCRP Working Group of Coupled Modelling (WGCM). Therefore, all CMIP6 results presented on this website are strictly confidential as long as they are water-marked and should not be used in publications. We encourage all CMIP6 modelling groups to quality control the results for their models. Please follow the CMIP6 Terms of Use.

We emphasize that this newly established routine evaluation of the ESMs cannot and is not meant to replace the cutting-edge and in-depth explorative analysis and research that makes use of CMIP output which will remain essential to close gaps in our scientific understanding. Rather we suggest to make the well-established parts of ESM evaluation that have demonstrated their value in the peer-reviewed literature more routine.