There are more than two dozen scientific institutions around the world that develop climate models, with each centre often building and refining several different models at the same time.

The models they produce are typically – though rather unimaginatively – named after the centres themselves. Hence, for example, the Met Office Hadley Centre has developed the “HadGEM3” family of models. Meanwhile, the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory has produced the “GFDL ESM2M” Earth system model.

That said, models are increasingly collaborative efforts, which is often reflected in their names. For example, the Hadley Centre and the wider Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) community in the UK have jointly developed the “UKESM1” Earth system model. This has the Met Office Hadley Centre’s HadGEM3 model at its core.

Another example it the Community Earth System Model (CESM), started by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the US in the early 1980s. As its name suggests, the model is a product of a collaboration between thousands of scientists (and is freely available to download and run).

Below, Carbon Brief has mapped the climate modelling centres that contributed to the fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), which fed into the IPCC’s fifth assessment report.     Mouse over the individual centres in the map to find out more about them.


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