Snow-Contributed by Gerhard Krinner and Chris Derksen

The Earth System Model-Snow Model Intercomparison Project (ESM-SnowMIP) is a new initiative that aims at evaluating and improving the representation of snow primarily (but not exclusively) in Earth System Models and at better quantifying snow-related climate feedbacks. It consists of a suite of coordinated experiments at the site level and on the global scale, plus numerical experiments in the Earth System Model framework.

ESM-SnowMIP is part of the WCRP Grand Challenge “Cryosphere in a Changing Climate” and is designed as a follow-up project to previous SnowMIP initiatives and complements, by a specific focus on snow, the Land Surface, Snow, and Soil moisture MIP (LS3MIP) subproject of CMIP6 that is designed to evaluate land surface modules of Earth System Models and to quantify land-related feedbacks. Compared to previous SnowMIP editions, a new and enlarged set of sites for model evaluation and testing is used.

We solicit participation in ESM-SnowMIP by:
-Earth System Modeling groups, particularly those that participate to the LS3MIP subproject of CMIP6;
-Snow and general land surface modelers (both site- and large scale).

At this stage, our aim is to obtain expressions of interest from the scientific community and receive feedback to the initial ESM-SnowMIP simulation protocol available here.

We anticipate that, besides progress due to coordinated model testing and benchmarking, the common participation by Earth System Modeling groups and specialized snow scientists will generate scientific momentum that will allow substantial knowledge transfer to the Earth System Modeling community, and thus allow for significant improvement of the representation of snow in global climate models.

The general timeline of ESM-SnowMIP aims to initiate site- and global-scale offline simulations in 2016, while coupled model simulations (complementing numerical experiments carried out in the LS3MIP framework) will start in 2018 after CMIP6.

The ESM-SnowMIP steering committee members are: Gerhard Krinner, Chris Derksen, Richard Essery, Stefan Hagemann, Alex Hall, Andrew Slater, Matthew Sturm and Helmut Rott. Please send your expressions of interest to Gerhard Krinner and Chris Derksen.