The Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) is a consortium of 6 laboratories whose research topics concern the global environment. The IPSL Climate Modelling Centre (ICMC) is a dedicated unit to develop climate models, to study the natural variability of climate, its past changes, its recent and future changes, and the anthropogenic influences on it.
Natural variations (change of the Earth's orbit or of the solar activity, volcanic eruptions...) and human activities (emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, land use...) change the climate through many physical, chemical and biogeochemical processes. These climate changes affect ecosystems and human activities. IPSL chose to have an integrated multidisciplinary approach of the Earth System and to study these changes in a coherent way.
Numerical models of the individual components of the climate system are developed in the IPSL laboratories: atmosphere, ocean, continental surfaces. Both physical, chemical and biogeochemical processes are considered. Since 1995, the IPSL Climate Modelling Centre (ICMC) develops climate models that progressively included all these components and processes.
Currently, the main activities of ICMC are articulated around:
- The development of an integrated model of the Earth system and of its majors components.
- The achievement of climate simulation and the distribution of their results.
- The analysis of past, current and future climate variability and changes.
- The organization of Working Groups to share skills and build scientific expertise.
ICMC regroups the different teams of the IPSL laboratories that have modelling activities and has also dedicated staff to develop the IPSL integrated model of the Earth system. Overall, ICMC involves approximately 80 researchers and engineers. A larger group of about 200 people use its results and benefit from the availability of the simulation data.
ICMC has a dedicated steering committee that is composed of the co-chairs of the different ICMC Working Groups Working Groups. Former head of ICMC were Hervé Le Treut and Pascale Delecluse (1995-2000), Pascale Braconnot (2001-2008). Current head is Jean-Louis Dufresne.
The staff working for the ICMC is based in different laboratories :
- Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) - Paris and Guyancourt
- Laboratoire de Météorlogie Dynamique (LMD) - Paris and Palaiseau
- Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE) - Gif sur Yvette
- Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat : Expérimentation et approches numériques (LOCEAN) - Paris
- Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS) - Guyancourt