About the COSMOS Network
A major enterprise conducted at the international level, and specifically in Europe (Max Planck Society in Germany, Hadley Centre in the UK, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace in France), in the US (NSF/NCAR, NASA, DOE, NOAA) and in Japan (Frontier Program), is the development of complex Earth System Models (ESM). Such models integrate our knowledge regarding the atmosphere, the ocean, the cryosphere and the biosphere, and account for the coupling between physical and biogeochemical processes in these components of the Earth System (Figure 1). ESMs are needed to understand large climate variations of the past and to predict future climate changes. International programs, including the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP), coordinate Earth System Modeling initiatives through their WFCM and GAIM projects, respectively.