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Definition of the domain

Climate modeling is to replicate more or less simplified the coupled behavior of the atmosphere, oceans and land surfaces at various spatial scales (from region to globe scales) or time (from season to century scales or more) . A useful tool for understanding the complexity of climatic phenomena is to numerically simulate the evolution coupled various components of the Earth system, after translating the physical principles governing the form of mathematical equations. CERFACS brings many strengths to meet this challenge by continuously improving the quality of these couplings, on more and more powerful computers , and analyzing in depth the results of many simulations it performs.

Challenges, issues and context

The intrinsic climate variability, from monthly to decadal scales, overlaps the global warming resulting from human activities. Detection of climate change and their allocation to various causes is a scientific problem that requires combining Earth observation, modeling of coupled and complex physical phenomena and scientific computing.

Cerfacs actively contributes to the IPCC exercises (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) which regularly publishes a detailed report on the present climate and its projection throughout the century. Advances in climate modeling, in particular through the intensification of Earth observation and increasing computer power, reduce uncertainties in climate projections.

OCCIPUT Project : Sea Surface Temperature

OCCIPUT Project : Sea Surface Temperature

Research axes at CERFACS

Research areas conducted in CERFACS through climate modeling are:

  • Climate variability on seasonal to decadal scales
  • Predictability and decadal forecasts
  • Anthropogenic disturbance and impacts

Tools developed or used


Climate Partners

Climate Partners



A researcher of CERFACS guest during the France Culture radio show « La méthode scientifique » this week

superadmin |  20 January 2020

Mélanie Rochoux,  a researcher at Cerfacs working on wildfire spread modeling at the interface between CFD simulations and data science, is invited to the France Culture radio show « La méthode scientifique » next Wednesday to talk about megafires. Who are they? How are they formed? What are their impacts? How science can provide insights? The radio show is on Wednesday, January 22nd at 4:00 pm on the France Culture's channel.Read more

Thierry Poinsot becomes member of the french Academy of Sciences

superadmin |  14 January 2020

Thierry Poinsot was elected at the french Academy of Sciences in december 2019 with 17 other scientists. This is a great recognition for the work done in Toulouse at IMFT (CNRS) and CERFACS over the last thirty years in CFD and in combustion.    Read more