Go to the main content

CMIP6 Bootcamp at Søminestationen

29 November 2022

­With the ever-growing threat of climate change and the staggering advances in climate prediction technology, it is essential for researchers to stay up to date in order to produce the most accurate results. While this can bring quite a bit pressure to any researcher, there are ways to make it fun! What better place to learn something new and as daunting as CMIP6 (climate model project) than a small bootcamp based in a beautiful town along a fjord with a group of amazing people?  

Sunset over the fjords in Søminestationen, Denmark

From 10-20 October 2022, several PolarRES researchers attended the CMIP6 Bootcamp ,co-organised by PolarRES and CLIVAR/CliC Northern Oceans, to learn how to work with CMIP6 data, how to use the data in conjunction with other datasets, and how to contribute to several publications resulting from the bootcamp. Based at Søminestationen, in Holbæk, Denmark, early career and senior scientists gathered for the ultimate science camp experience filled with lectures, presentations, packed lunches, polar plunges, games and bonfires!

Two of our very own PolarRES early career researchers, Ryan Williams (BAS) and Raphael Köhler (AWI), gave us an insight into day-to-day life at the bootcamp and shared with us their highlights: 

Group of young researchers posing at night with a sky full of stars

“My personal highlight was meeting all these fellow early career researchers and working together on projects. After so much time working from home and participating in online workshops, it felt great to get together again. A further highlight was the last evening, which gave us the prefect conditions to do some stargazing, including multiple shooting stars”

Raphael Köhler

“One of my highlights would be meeting such a diverse range of early-career and senior scientists using CMIP6 output and learning about the scope and caveats of using such data throughout the climate system. I enjoyed the setting and the idea around the bootcamp in terms of networking, staying focussed and a chance to detach from other demands in day-to-day life.”

Ryan Williams
Nice weather over the water in Søminestationen, Denmark

Want to know what it was like during a day at the bootcamp? Dive into the journal of one of our early career researchers from AWI, Raphael Köhler, who recounts the events of the last day at the bootcamp:

“Let me tell you about this specific Thursday morning 7.55 am, the last day of the Bootcamp. The sound of loud banging is echoing throughout the North-building of Søminestationen. Ruth Mottram, organiser and woman in charge of the bootcamp, is once more forcefully hitting a spatula against a large metal pan – a sound the 22 participants are very much used to by now. In moments like these someone coming from outside might think this is an actual military bootcamp. However, the Søminestationen, once a station used by the Danish Marine to test sea mines and torpedoes, is now strictly in the hands of polar science. And Ruth is not summoning the cadets for their morning service, but stressing the importance of starting on time at 8.30 am to present and discuss the topics we have worked on as groups the previous nine days. Tired early career researchers from all around the world are now quickly having their final bites of breakfast, adding some last figures to their group presentation, or returning from their morning dip in the cold Isefjord. A sense of excitement is in the air, as we all want to find out what interesting results the different groups have produced in the past days. 

And indeed, the seven groups managed to produce a wide range of very exciting results focusing on different hot topics of Arctic climate change, using CMIP6 model output. The combination of lectures, online and in person mentoring, hands-on data courses and group work proved to be really fruitful. Although this is mainly a starting point for future cooperation and publication, already the first results from the seven groups are more than promising. Our “Fates of the Beaufort Gyre: Location, Extent and Strength” (FaBLES) group used a novel storyline approach to investigate plausible fates of the Beaufort Gyre in a warming climate. This work will moreover contribute to the PolarRES project.

Raphael Köhler presenting FaBLES on a powerpoint presentation

Beside all the new things I have learned during the bootcamp, and the interesting new project I have started, it is exactly this networking component that made the bootcamp especially memorable for me. I am already looking forward to meeting some of them for collaborations or during upcoming conferences.”

This bootcamp really allowed our researchers to make long-lasting connections and bond over their passion for Arctic climate change. With the Polar Regions heating up significantly faster than the rest of the world, it is truly inspiring to see a group of researchers from all over come together and work towards finding solutions for our future.

Raphael Köhler, Marylou Athanase, and Ryan Williams

A big thank you to Ruth Mottram from our partner, DMI, for organising this bootcamp and making it such a memorable and valuable experience for those that attended!