The Bjerknes Centre is a collaboration on climate research, between the University of Bergen, NORCE, the Institute of Marine Research, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre.

Seminar: A Python-based implementation of low-dimensional energy balance models (EBMs) with application example: Late Holocene climate response to various forcings

Benjamin Schmiedel from University of Heidelberg will give a seminar talk on August 19.

Short biography: I finished my BSc in physics in spring 2019 at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. My research interests focus on climate science and energy balance modelling, the subject of my Bachelor Thesis. Following the thesis, I continued developing energy balance models (EBMs). From June 2019, I started an internship at the GFI together with Ingo Bethke, focusing on applying Late Holocene forcings to EBMs and on objectively tuning the EBM response to mimic the behavior of more complex climate models. After this summer I will continue to study climate science in a Master’s program at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


Abstract: One of the first, in the late 1960s, developed types of climate models are energy balance models (EBMs) which characterize the climatic evolution through only a few fundamental parameterizations. While EBMs are often dismissed as too basic compared to general circulation models (GCMs), which describe the climatic evolution with much more detailed characterizations, they can be trained to emulate the response behaviour of more complex GCMs and are suitable for studying first-order climate effects with the advantage that their behaviour is more easily comprehensible than that of GCMs. Their low computational cost makes them particularly attractive for parameter and forcing sensitivity studies that require large ensembles. Today, EMBs thus still have considerable value in complementing the use of complex climate models.

This talk presents a python-based implementation of EBMs which can integrate multi-millennia simulations within minutes on a standard PC. Thanks to its modular design the implementation can be easily configured and modified to use alternative parameterizations and forcings, thus serving as a highly flexible tool to be applied to a wide range of climate applications. It features several alternative sets of basic parameterizations mainly based on early EBM studies. The EBM operation will be demonstrated live during the talk. As application example the period of the Late Holocene is chosen and the climate response to different choices of solar and volcanic forcings explored.

A hands-on mini-workshop will be arranged the following day (Tuesday 20th13:00-15:00 G-lab GFI), offering the opportunity to learn how to work with the EBM package and run these EBMs in different configurations on workstations or laptop. No registration, drop-in.


Arranged date for the seminar talk: Aug 19, 2019 (+ hands-on workshop Aug 20 13:30, G-lab GFI)



Schmiedels portrett
Benjamin Schmiedel