Four objectives define the research focus of this activity:

  • development of new hypothesis-driven approaches for evaluating ESM biogeochemical processes using observations from site, regional, and global scales;
  • investigation of the degree to which contemporary observations can be used to reduce uncertainties in future scenarios, using an “emergent constraint” approach;
  • creation of an open source benchmarking software system that leverages the growing collection of laboratory, field, and remote sensing data sets for systematic evaluation of ESM biogeochemical processes; and
  • evaluation of the performance of biogeochemical processes and feedbacks in different ESMs participating in model intercomparison projects, including CMIP5 and CMIP6.

Another important objective is to contribute to International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) Project by providing new analysis approaches, benchmarking tools, and science leadership. The goal of ILAMB is to assess and improve the performance of land models through international cooperation and to inform the design of new measurement campaigns and field studies to reduce uncertainties associated with key biogeochemical processes and feedbacks. ILAMB is expected to be a primary analysis tool for CMIP6 and future model–data intercomparison experiments. This team developed an initial prototype benchmarking system for ILAMB, which will be improved and extended to include ocean model metrics and diagnostics.

The RUBISCO Scientific Focus Area (SFA) brings together the modeling and the measurements communities to systematically assess model fidelity using best available observations through an open source benchmarking package.