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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



Cerfacs’ kraken configuration upgrade to more than 500 Tflop/s

superadmin |  2 October 2019

64 skylake nodes have been added to Cerfacs' cluster Kraken which offer now more than 7 000 skylake cores and 563 peak Tflop/s.Read more

67 climate modelling groups use OASIS3-MCT to assemble more than 80 coupled applications

superadmin |  10 September 2019

OASIS3-MCT is a coupler of codes developed at Cerfacs and used around the world, mainly for climate modelling applications. Our last survey confirms that OASIS3-MCT is used by 67 modelling groups to assemble more than 80 different coupled applications over the 5 continents. These applications include global or regional configurations of ocean and atmosphere models but also sea ice, sea level, wave, ocean biogeochemistry, land, vegetation, river routing, hydrological and atmospheric chemistry models. OASIS3-MCT is used in 5 of the 7 European Earth System Models participating to the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) that produces the climate simulations forming the basis of the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”Read more