Earth System Model

The MIT Earth System Model (MESM) comprises coupled sub-models of physical, dynamical and chemical processes in the atmosphere, land and freshwater systems, ocean and cryosphere.

It is used to calculate global and regional environmental responses to human activity and natural processes. The MESM draws on scientific knowledge combined with land, air, water and space-based measurements, and accounts for uncertainties about how the Earth system functions.

The model consists of three main components—land, ocean and atmosphere—and represents the processes that shape each component’s evolution and the interactions among these components, essentially serving as an Earth simulator. This allows researchers to calculate the likely environmental impacts of human activities simulated in the MIT Economic Projection and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model, and feed those impacts back into the EPPA model in order to assess their economic and other implications.

The MESM is highly flexible, modular and computationally efficient, so we can run large ensembles of multi-century runs (varying uncertain climate model properties as identified by our research). MESM includes different levels of model detail within its components as appropriate for specific studies. A paper describing and evaluating the MESM has been published in the open-access Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems.

The source code of the MESM is publicly available for non-commercial research and educational purposes via github (i.e. github.com:mit-jp/igsm.git). Under this open source protocol, we have also established a software license through the MIT Technology Licensing Office. As the MESM has embedded models developed at three other institutions, appropriate copyright clearances for the third-party code are required.

If you wish to access the MESM software, please download and review the software license before submitting your request to mesm-request@mit.edu.

To learn how your organization can benefit from funding our research, please visit the Joint Program Sponsorship page. 

Key Papers on MESM

Publications

Journal Article
Libardoni, A.G., C.E. Forest, A.P. Sokolov and E. Monier (2018). Advances in Statistical Climatology, Meteorology and Oceanography, 4(1/2),19-36 (doi:10.5194/ascmo-4-19-2018)
Journal Article
Libardoni, A.G., C.E. Forest, A.P. Sokolov and E. Monier (2018). Geoscientific Model Development, 11(8): 3313-3325 (doi: 10.5194/gmd-11-3313-2018)
Joint Program Reprint, Journal Article
Sokolov, A., D. Kicklighter, C.A. Schlosser, C. Wang, E. Monier, B. Brown-Steiner, R. Prinn, C. Forest, X. Gao, A. Libardoni and S. Eastham (2018). AGU Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems , 10(8), 1759-1789 (doi: 10.1029/2018MS001277) [PDF]

News + Media

Research Projects

People

Administration, Faculty
CGCS; Joint Program
Research staff
Joint Program; Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences
Collaborators, Alumni
Joint Program; CGCS
Research staff
CGCS; Joint Program
Collaborators, Alumni
CGCS; Joint Program
Research staff
CGCS; Joint Program
Research staff
CGCS; Joint Program
Collaborators
Joint Program; Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences