Software, Data & Modelling


Models are the basis and the heart of PIK’s scientific work and reputation. PIK’s model portfolio represents the instruments necessary to understand the physical limits of the Earth system and to explore management options for a sustainable and equitable development corresponding to PIK’s mission in investigating planetary boundaries and management of global commons.

Corresponding to this scientific mission, the models at PIK serve three primary purposes:

(1) Models improving our understanding of natural and socio-economic systems,
(2) models providing future scenarios and pathways, and
(3) models informing decisions.
These purposes are not mutually exclusive, and models may allow the exploration of more than one dimension (see figure below).

The portfolio is complemented by smaller exploratory modelling efforts (often at lower computational costs). They include non-linear methods that account for dynamically evolving elements in complex systems and aim at employing artificial intelligence to gain new insights into data related to climate change.

PIK strives to uphold high standards of scientific practice and commits itself to the Open Science Declaration of the Leibniz Association.

This has important implications for model design, development, implementation, documentation and maintenance. But also the strong public interest in our model output is an additional motivation for PIK to commit itself to specific quality assurance standards to meet the widely recognized rules for good scientific practice.

These standards address responsibility, sustainability, implementation, documentation and outreach themes for our software, data, and models.

For the implementation PIK set up an organizational framework, which includes the Software, Data & Modelling Council as a central forum for discussing and supervising these issues.