ClimSim: A large multi-scale dataset for hybrid physics-ML climate emulation

Sungduk Yu, Walter M. Hannah, Liran Peng, Jerry Lin, Mohamed Aziz Bhouri, Ritwik Gupta, Björn Lütjens, Justus C. Will, Gunnar Behrens, Julius J.M. Busecke, Nora Loose, Charles Stern, Tom Beucler, Bryce E. Harrop, Benjamin R. Hillman, Andrea M. Jenney, Savannah L. Ferretti, Nana Liu, Anima Anandkumar, Noah D. BrenowitzVeronika Eyring, Nicholas Geneva, Pierre Gentine, Stephan Mandt, Jaideep Pathak, Akshay Subramaniam, Carl Vondrick, Rose Yu, Laure Zanna, Tian Zheng, Ryan P. Abernathey, Fiaz Ahmed, David C. Bader, Pierre Baldi, Elizabeth A. Barnes, Christopher S. Bretherton, Peter M. Caldwell, Wayne Chuang, Yilun Han, Yu Huang, Fernando Iglesias-Suarez, Sanket Jantre, Karthik Kashinath, Marat Khairoutdinov, Thorsten Kurth, Nicholas J. Lutsko, Po Lun Ma, Griffin Mooers, J. David Neelin, David A. Randall, Sara Shamekh, Mark A. Taylor, Nathan M. Urban, Janni Yuval, Guang J. Zhang, Michael S. Pritchard

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Modern climate projections lack adequate spatial and temporal resolution due to computational constraints. A consequence is inaccurate and imprecise predictions of critical processes such as storms. Hybrid methods that combine physics with machine learning (ML) have introduced a new generation of higher fidelity climate simulators that can sidestep Moore's Law by outsourcing compute-hungry, short, high-resolution simulations to ML emulators. However, this hybrid ML-physics simulation approach requires domain-specific treatment and has been inaccessible to ML experts because of lack of training data and relevant, easy-to-use workflows. We present ClimSim, the largest-ever dataset designed for hybrid ML-physics research. It comprises multi-scale climate simulations, developed by a consortium of climate scientists and ML researchers. It consists of 5.7 billion pairs of multivariate input and output vectors that isolate the influence of locally-nested, high-resolution, high-fidelity physics on a host climate simulator's macro-scale physical state. The dataset is global in coverage, spans multiple years at high sampling frequency, and is designed such that resulting emulators are compatible with downstream coupling into operational climate simulators. We implement a range of deterministic and stochastic regression baselines to highlight the ML challenges and their scoring. The data ( and code ( are released openly to support the development of hybrid ML-physics and high-fidelity climate simulations for the benefit of science and society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
StatePublished - 2023
Event37th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2023 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Dec 10 2023Dec 16 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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