When you change into a new research field, summer schools are a great invention. In a short time you learn the most important points of the new field and meet some nice people, who are in a similar situation like yourself. At the beginning of September, Hamburg hosted a Summer School on Earth System Modeling (EaSyMS), which was topically well placed for my current position.
The idea behind the summer school was to give the participants the chance to run the current MPI-ESM model. It was one of the models of the CMIP5 exercise and as a coupled ocean-atmosphere model it is currently well used in many kinds of research. The course started with general introductions to Earth system modelling, and the involved processes. Furthermore, lectures took a look at specific design of the model and described how it generally works.
Attached to these lectures were then the practical parts of the week, which involved to run the model with different configurations. The main part of the week was then to analyse the model output and follow from this, what the different configurations changed in the model physics and which consequences this have for the whole system. Finally, the results were wrapped up, presented and discussed.
All in all it was an interesting week, with a lot of interesting insights into a complex climate model. As I mainly worked in the past on simple to intermediate models, it is for me interesting to see, how the model reacts in detail, where its limits are and what chances it offers to modulate the real world. So this course has certainly helped me with my upcoming tasks in the near future.