** Progress in Earth and Planetary Science is the official journal of the Japan Geoscience Union, published in collaboration with its 50 society members.

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    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    Progress in Earth and Planetary Science

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    Atmospheric and hydrospheric sciences


    Two decades of Earth system modeling with an emphasis on Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate (MIROC)

    Michio Kawamiya, Tomohiro Hajima, Kaoru Tachiiri, Shingo Watanabe, Tokuta Yokohata

    Earth system model, Climate change, IPCC, Carbon cycle, Biogeochemistry, Interdisciplinary project, Remaining carbon budget, Socioeconomics, Nitrogen, Iron.

    Conceptual diagram of Earth system model (ESM) projections of global change: Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen fixation are increasing; ESMs can model interactions between climate change and biogeochemical cycles.

    The past 20 years of research using Earth system models (ESMs) is reviewed with an emphasis on results from the ESM based on MIROC (Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate) developed in Japan. Earth system models are climate models incorporating biogeochemical processes such as the carbon cycle. The development of ESM was triggered by studies of the feedback between climate change and the carbon cycle. State-of-the-art ESMs are much more realistic than the first ESMs. They now include various biogeochemical processes other than carbon, such as atmospheric chemistry and the nitrogen and iron cycles as well as nutrient transport by atmospheric dust and rivers. They are used to address many practical issues, such as evaluating the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that is consistent with climate change mitigation targets, and are indispensable tools for the development of climate change mitigation policies. Novel, ambitious attempts to use ESMs include coupling socioeconomics with Earth systems, and projecting the carbon cycle on decadal timescales. Development of ESMs requires ongoing integration of multiple aspects of climate science. Emerging applications of ESMs can bring forth meaningful insights, and should be directed toward expanding connections with fields outside climate science, e.g., socioeconomics.