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Modelling at PIK

Models are the basis and the heart of PIK’s scientific work and reputation. PIK is developing and using a significant number of worldwide renowned and complex computational models. This portfolio of earth system, climate impact and energy system models allows the institute to assess many aspects of climate and global change phenomena.


Model Portfolio PIK

Main computer models at PIK and their connections

PIK strives to uphold high standards of scientific practice. This has important implications for model design, development, implementation, documentation and maintenance. Furthermore, there is an increasing demand from different stakeholder groups to provide science-based advice on issues of climate change. This strong public interest is an additional motivation for PIK to commit itself to specific quality assurance standards to meet the widely recognised rules for good scientific practice.

As a result, PIK defined its own guidelines for model development and quality control to support the institute in pursuing its mission by helping internally to optimise development, implementation and usage of different models. The guidelines address responsibility, sustainability, implementation, documentation and outreach themes. In summary, PIK’s modelling guidelines contribute towards:

  • Improving the accountability and the trustworthiness of computer simulations and decision-making support.
  • Making model development and maintenance more sustainable, more reliable and more efficient.
  • Building up and fostering specific expertise in model specification, implementation, testing and maintenance and making more effective usage of expertise available at the institute in these areas.
  • Giving guidance regarding model dissemination and access.

To make more effective usage of expertise available at the institute for model implementation and to foster co-operation, information exchange, and model component sharing, PIK set up an organizational framework for the implementation of the guidelines. Among others, this includes

  • The modellers’ council: A council of the heads of the modelling groups regularly discusses the current state, planned activities and emerging issues in modelling activities and organises a PIK internal model review process.
  • Model fact sheets: Annually updated model fact sheets describing the current state of the development, implementation and application process for most of the PIK models, supplemented by a topical survey.
  • Seminar series: A regular series of presentations on software development methodologies, code instrumentation, debugging and profiling tools.

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