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About CMUG

The European Space Agency (ESA) has established the "Climate Modelling User Group" (CMUG), to place a climate system perspective at the centre of its Climate Change Initiative (CCI) programme, and to provide a dedicated forum through which the Earth Observation Data Community and Climate Modelling Community can work closely together. CMUG will work with the eleven Essesntial Climate Variable (ECV) projects to achieve this goal.

CMUG is a consortium comprising the Met Office Hadley Centre, DLR, ECMWF, IPSL, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Météo-France, SMHI and BSC.


Our climate system is continuously changing, so we need to measure its changes globally and regionally, and to model the system to understand the causes of the changes. Given their global and temporal coverage and spatial resolution, satellite data, which now span up to 30 years, can be used for both climate monitoring and model initialisation and evaluation.

We need to confront models with observations with the following aims:

  1. To interpret the observations and explain the causes of observed variability and change;
  2. To develop, constrain and validate climate models, thus gaining confidence in projections of future change;
  3. To initialise models for seasonal and decadal timescale predictability.

The figure below shows the relations beteen the CMUG partners and their climate models, the ECVs, climate modellers and ESA.

CMUG objectives

  1. Support integration within the CCI programme:
    • Through requirements and user assessment from the Climate Modelling Community
    • Through feedback from a 'climate system' perspective
  2. Foster the exploitation of Global Satellite Data Products within the Climate Modelling Community.
    • By promoting the use of CCI data sets to climate modellers.
    • By building partnership and links with existing research organisations, networks and scientific bodies of the Climate Modelling Community
  3. Assess quality and impact of individual/combined Global Satellite Data Products in Climate Model and Data Assimilation context
    • By assessing suitability of products for climate applications (e.g. climate modelling, decadal prediction, reanalysis, etc)
    • By quantifying their incremental value on model performance in an objective manner

Main CMUG Activities

  1. Refining of scientific requirements derived from GCOS for climate modellers
  2. Provide technical feedback to CCI projects
  3. Assess the global satellite climate data records (CDRs) produced from the 10 CCI consortia
  4. Look specifically at required consistencies across ECVs from a user viewpoint
  5. Promote and report on the use of the CCI datasets by climate modellers
  6. Interaction with related climate modelling and reanalysis initiatives