Climate models

Global climate models such as NorESM take into account all the elements our globe is made of, and which affect each other: atmosphere, ocean, ice, soil, and ecosystem. With such models, it is possible to look at what causes climate change and how the development could be.

Our researchers largely contribute to the development of models for climate and climate forecasting. The Norwegian Earth System Model NorESM is used to produce global climate projections 50-100 years into the future. This is called climate projection and helps us to increase our understanding of climate change and variability over large distances, and the understanding of connections (teleconnections) between these.

In collaboration with other Norwegian institutions, we use the model to produce climate projections for the World Climate Research Program’s (WCRP) project for model comparison, the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). The information is used to understand variations and changes in climate, and as a basis for climate reports by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change and in research articles.

The Norwegian Climate Prediction Model NorCPM is based on NorESM, and is used to produce climate predictions for months to years into the future. In the climate prediction model, our in-house developed data assimilation tool Ensemble Kalman Filter is used to include observational data. The model thereby takes into account natural climate variations that control changes over relatively short periods of time, such as the El Niño phenomenon. NorCPM is used for notification in several projects. One of these is the centre for research-based innovation Climate Futures, which publishes forecasts for months and years into the future.

Weather and climate forecasts can be improved by combining different models into a so-called supermodel. During the simulations with the various models, they exchange information with each other. By making small corrections along the way, errors can be reduced at an early stage, and the super model will be able to have a more correct development than the individual models. The Nansen Center is involved in the development of the world’s first supermodel based on a combination of several Earth system models, and the aim is that in the future we will be able to offer even better climate forecasts and climate projections.

For more information, contact research leader François Counillon.


For access to visualised climate forecasts, go to the CMIP6-website


For access to visualised forecasts that are seasonal forecasts from the Climate Futures project, go to the Climate Futures climate forecast website


For access to compiled information on the climate, climate change, possible climate impacts and adaptations, produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, go to the IPCC’s website