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.

Research Group 1 

Climate Model Development and climate projections

The global climate modeling in Norway is based on the Norwegian Earth System Model, NorESM.

NorESM is developed in the nationally coordinated research projects NorClim (2006-2010), EarthClim (2011-2014) and EVA (2014-2016), all funded by the Research Council of Norway. Considerable institutional financing has also contributed to the development, testing and validation of NorESM. Besides the modelling activities in Bergen, both the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the University of Oslo are key partners in the development and use of NorESM.

Global temperature 1880 - 2014 from The Bjerknes Centre on Vimeo.

NorESM has been applied to a number of model experiments as part of the internationally coordinated model intercomparison project CMIP5. A Special Issue in the journal Geoscientific Model Development describes the various NorESM versions. At the end of 2013, over 220 publications in international journals with peer review have used results from the NorESM CMIP5 simulations.

NorESM is based on the global climate model Community Earth System Model (CESM) developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, USA.

NorESM differs from CESM in the following aspects:

  • It uses an ocean circulation model that is largely developed in Bergen.
  • An advanced and detailed description of naturally occurring and man-made particles (sea salt, dust, soot and aerosols) and how these particles affect the radiation, clouds and precipitation has been added to NorESM. This work is mainly done at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the University of Oslo.
  • A model for the ocean cycling of carbon, based on a carbon cycle model from the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.


Technical work and research focus

The ambition to maintain NorESM as a leading Earth System Model requires focused efforts on

  • Model infrastructure and code development including optimization, data input/output and communication beteen computing cores;
  • Development of the solution of the governing primitive equations;
  • Development of physical parameterizations.
  • Testing and validation of new versions of the model system, adjustment of parameter values ​​and testing/implementation of improved model resolution.

Another main focus of the group is to carry out and assist analysis of climate simulations of past, present and possible future climate.

Research Projects