Headline: Opinion: The scientific and community-building roles of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) – past, present, and future

The Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) is a coordinating framework, started in 2010, that includes a series of standardized climate model experiments aimed at understanding the physical processes and projected impacts of solar geoengineering. Numerous experiments have been conducted, and numerous more have been proposed as “test-bed” experiments, spanning a variety of geoengineering techniques aimed at modifying the planetary radiation budget: stratospheric aerosol injection, marine cloud brightening, surface albedo modification, cirrus cloud thinning, and sunshade mirrors. To date, more than 100 studies have been published that used results from GeoMIP simulations. Here we provide a critical assessment of GeoMIP and its experiments. We discuss its successes and missed opportunities, for instance in terms of which experiments elicited more interest from the scientific community and which did not, and the potential reasons why that happened. We also discuss the knowledge that GeoMIP has contributed to the field of geoengineering research and climate science as a whole: what have we learned in terms of intermodel differences, robustness of the projected outcomes for specific geoengineering methods, and future areas of model development that would be necessary in the future? We also offer multiple examples of cases where GeoMIP experiments were fundamental for international assessments of climate change. Finally, we provide a series of recommendations, regarding both future experiments and more general activities, with the goal of continuously deepening our understanding of the effects of potential geoengineering approaches and reducing uncertainties in climate outcomes, important for assessing wider impacts on societies and ecosystems. In doing so, we refine the purpose of GeoMIP and outline a series of criteria whereby GeoMIP can best serve its participants, stakeholders, and the broader science community.

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Visioni, D., Kravitz, B., Robock, A., Tilmes, S., Haywood, J. M., Boucher, O., Lawrence, M. G., Irvine, P., Niemeier, U., Xia, L., Chiodo, G., Lennard, C., Watanabe, S., Moore, J. C., & Muri, H. (2023). Opinion: The scientific and community-building roles of the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) – past, present, and future. Atmospheric chemistry and physics, 23(9), 5149-5176. doi:10.5194/acp-23-5149-2023.

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