YOPPsiteMIP: Year of Polar Prediction site Model Inter-comparison Project

YOPPsiteMIP is a coordinated process-based model evaluation project based on high-frequency multi-variate observations at some selected Arctic and Antarctic supersites, during the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP). The aim of YOPPsiteMIP is to deepen our understanding on the representation of environmental prediction systems of polar processes, both in the atmosphere, land, sea-ice or ocean components, and in the coupling at their interfaces.

The YOPP Arctic and Antarctic supersites are selected key polar observatories which host multiple systems deployed for long-term monitoring and suites of instruments (such as lidars, radars, ceilometers, radiometers), that provide detailed measurements characterising the vertical column of the atmosphere as well as the surface conditions and energy fluxes. These observations extend far beyond the traditional synoptic surface and upper-air observations, and offer the opportunity for deepening our understanding of the physical processes governing the polar environment weather and climate.

Several international modelling centres (European Centre of Medium-range Weather Forecast, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Meteo France, … ) are providing NWP model output at high frequency (on the order of model time-step) on model levels, in correspondence of the super-site locations, for the physical variables supported by the observations at the sites.

This unique dataset of paired model output and multi-variate observations enables detailed process-based diagnostics, where the target processes include:

  • the vertical representation of cloud and hydrometeors microphysics, low level (mix-phase) clouds;
  • the representation radiation, turbulence, energy and momentum fluxes;
  • stable boundary layer;
  • atmosphere-snow interaction and ocean-sea ice-atmosphere coupling;
  • ocean mixing; …

As part of the MIP framework, a common file format and semantic (netCDF with CF naming convention) for both model and observations were developed, in order to foster multi-model and multi-site inter-comparisons. These are referred to as Merged Model Data Files (MMDF) and Merged Observatory Data File (MODF). A description of the MMDFs, for those wanting to contribute model data to YOPPsiteMIP, can be found here.

In alignment with the YOPP open-access data policy, the YOPPsiteMIP time series are/will be available through the YOPP data portal. Some of the model time-series are already published online and the portal will continue to be updated as more observational sites and model centres join the project. 

YOPPsiteMIP is a project in evolution, which encourages the contribution from modelling centres and process-evaluation studies. Wish to be engaged? Contact: Gunilla Svensson or yopp-sitemip-group@listserv.dfn.de.