CMIP5 Task Force


The MAPP Program's Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5) Task Force (2011-2014) brought together scientists whose MAPP-funded research in the framework of CMIP5 aimed at evaluating simulations of the 20th century climate and the uncertainties in long-term predictions and projection of twenty-first century climate over North America. CMIP5 Task Force activities advanced knowledge of long-term climate outlooks for North America. The MAPP CMIP5 Task Force coordinated with other relevant national and international efforts (e.g. WCRP Panels such as WGCM and WGNE, the National Climate Assessment).

The CMIP5 Task Force was initiated in November 2011 and ran through October 2014.

MAPP Task Force Concept and Terms of Reference


Lead: Jim Kinter, COLA, George Mason University
Co-Lead: Justin Sheffield, Princeton University
Co-Lead: Eric Maloney, Colorado State University

- To view the full Participants list, please visit the Participants page.

- Members Only

Funded Projects

You can download a pdf version of the funded research projects that were organized under the CMIP5 Task Force here.

Activities and accomplishments

The Task Force focused on two activities: interacting with the National Climate Assessment (NCA) and developing a pathway for process-oriented metrics for climate model evaluation. The first activity stemmed from a workshop on CMIP hosted by the USGCRP Interagency Group on Integrative Modeling in College Park, MD in the Fall of 2013. 

The Task Force answered NCA questions on CMIP5 projections for North America, applying findings from research projects funded under the Task Force. The second activity focused on developing process-oriented metrics for the evaluation of climate models. A number of major national modeling centers engaged with the Task Force on next-generation process-oriented metrics that could be used for model development, and this activity will continue in a Task Force starting in Fall 2015, which will focus on the development of process oriented metrics for climate model evaluation.


  • CMIP5 Task Force leadership organized a Journal of Climate "CMIP5 special collection on North American climate" which includes CMIP5-based studies on North American climate and relevant global climate phenomena like ENSO, MJO, Arctic Oscillation that affect North America. Twenty-one papers from CMIP5 Task Force investigators are included in the Special Collection. Please visit the Papers Submitted for Publication page to view the papers that have been accepted. Three overview papers were prepared for the Special Collection summarizing the work of the CMIP5 Task Force investigators. Their titles are as follows:
  1. North American Climate in CMIP5 Experiments. Part I: Evaluation of Historical Simulations of Continental and Regional Climatology
  2. North American Climate in CMIP5 Experiments. Part II: Evaluation of Historical Simulations of Intra-Seasonal to Decadal Variability
  3. North American Climate in CMIP5 Experiments: Part III: Assessment of 21st Century Projections
  • Hosted two sessions at the 2014 AMS Annual Meeting where Task Force participants and representatives from the national modeling centers presented their work related to process-oriented metrics for climate model evaluation. Recordings are available here for the first part of the session and here for the second.
  • Produced a whitepaper ( pdf here), led by Task Force co-lead Eric Maloney, on process-oriented metrics that details the concept of process-oriented metrics, lays out the CMIP5 Task Force's approach to process-oriented metrics, and describes linkages with modeling centers and the applications community.
  • Interacted with National Climate Assessment staff, including production of a summary of highlights and outstanding questions from CMIP5 relevant to climate projections for North America. The summary and highlights are currently being shaped into a NOAA Technical Report and a journal article.
  • Planned an AGU 2012 Fall meeting session titled "North American Climate in CMIP5 Experiment" (A056) featuring many presentations from the group.
  • Preliminary results from the CMIP5 Task Force were presented at the WCRP Workshop on CMIP5 Model Analysis, 5-9 March 2012 Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.



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