The PMIP4 contribution to CMIP6 – Part 4: Scientific objectives and experimental design of the PMIP4-CMIP6 Last Glacial Maximum experiments and PMIP4 sensitivity experiments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Masa Kageyama
  • Samuel Albani
  • Pascale Braconnot
  • Sandy P. Harrison
  • Ruza F. Ivanovic
  • Fabrice Lambert
  • Olivier Marti
  • W. Richard Peltier
  • Jean-yves Peterschmitt
  • Didier M. Roche
  • Lev Tarasov
  • Xu Zhang
  • Esther C. Brady
  • Alan M. Haywood
  • Allegra N. Legrande
  • Daniel J. Lunt
  • Natalie M. Mahowald
  • Uwe Mikolajewicz
  • Kerim H. Nisancioglu
  • Bette L. Otto-bliesner
  • Hans Renssen
  • Robert A. Tomas
  • Qiong Zhang
  • Ayako Abe-ouchi
  • Patrick J. Bartlein
  • Jian Cao
  • Qiang Li
  • Gerrit Lohmann
  • Rumi Ohgaito
  • Xiaoxu Shi
  • Evgeny Volodin
  • Kohei Yoshida
  • Xiao Zhang
  • Weipeng Zheng

Colleges, School and Institutes


The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 21 000 years ago) is one of the suite of paleoclimate simulations included in the current phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). It is an interval when insolation was similar to the present, but global ice volume was at a maximum, eustatic sea level was at or close to a minimum, greenhouse gas concentrations were lower, atmospheric aerosol loadings were higher than today, and vegetation and land-surface characteristics were different from today. The LGM has been a focus for the Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP) since its inception, and thus many of the problems that might be associated with simulating such a radically different climate are well documented. The LGM state provides an ideal case study for evaluating climate model performance because the changes in forcing and temperature between the LGM and pre-industrial are of the same order of magnitude as those projected for the end of the 21st century. Thus, the CMIP6 LGM experiment could provide additional information that can be used to constrain estimates of climate sensitivity. The design of the Tier 1 LGM experiment (lgm) includes an assessment of uncertainties in boundary conditions, in particular through the use of different reconstructions of the ice sheets and of the change in dust forcing. Additional (Tier 2) sensitivity experiments have been designed to quantify feedbacks associated with land-surface changes and aerosol loadings, and to isolate the role of individual forcings. Model analysis and evaluation will capitalize on the relative abundance of paleoenvironmental observations and quantitative climate reconstructions already available for the LGM.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4035-4055
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2017