The European integrating project COMBINE brings together research groups to advance Earth system models (ESMs) for more accurate climate projections and for reduced uncertainty in the prediction of climate and climate change in the next decades. COMBINE will contribute to better assessments of changes in the physical climate system and of their impacts in the societal and economic system. The proposed work will strengthen the scientific base for environmental policies of the EU for the climate negotiations, and will provide input to the IPCC/AR5 process.
COMBINE proposes to improve ESMs by including key physical and biogeochemical processes to model more accurately the forcing mechanisms and the feedbacks determining the magnitude of climate change in the 21st century. For this purpose the project will incorporate carbon and nitrogen cycle, aerosols coupled to cloud microphysics and chemistry, proper stratospheric dynamics and increased resolution, ice sheets and permafrost in current Earth system models. COMBINE also proposes to improve initialization techniques to make the best possible use of observation based analyses of ocean and ice to benefit from the predictability of the climate system in predictions of the climate of the next few decades.
Combining more realistic models and skilful initialization is expected to reduce the uncertainty in climate projections. Resulting effects will be investigated in the physical climate system and in impacts on water availability and agriculture, globally and in 3 regions under the influence of different climate feedback mechanisms. Results from the comprehensive ESMs will be used in an integrated assessment model to test the underlying assumptions in the scenarios, and hence to contribute to improved scenarios.
COMBINE will make use of the experimental design and of the scenarios proposed for IPCC AR5. Therefore the project will be able to contribute to the AR5, by its relevant research and by the contribution of experiments to the IPCC data archives.