U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Hector: A Simple Climate Model for Scientific Analyses
Published: April 01, 2015
Posted: July 24, 2015

Understanding the interactions of key Earth system processes is important for projecting how human activities will affect global climate. A recent study introduces Hector v1.0, a simple climate model developed by a team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and collaborators from the University of Maryland. Hector was designed to be fully integrated into integrated assessment (IA) modeling tools and studies that provide rapid emulation of key climate parameters. Within this context of integrated analysis, Hector was designed with three goals in mind. First, Hector is an open-source model, which is important because the scientific community, funding agencies, and journals are increasingly emphasizing transparency and open source, particularly in the climate change sciences. Second, Hector offers a framework that allows for ease in editing files, adding new components, and sharing with the scientific community. Third, in addition to being an integral component of IA models, Hector also can operate in stand-alone mode. Hector can answer fundamental scientific questions such as what future concentrations of greenhouse gases will be and how they will affect the balance of heat that enters and leaves Earth’s atmosphere. Hector represents the most critical global-scale Earth system processes while featuring fast computational execution times, clear understanding, and straightforward output analysis. Hector compares well to other similar climate models, as well as the more complex Earth system models. Because of these qualities, Hector has the potential to be a key analytical tool in IA research, scientific research more generally, and decision-making.

Reference: Hartin, C. A., P. Patel, A. Schwarber, R. P. Link, and B. P. Bond-Lamberty. 2015. “A Simple Object-Oriented and Open-Source Model for Scientific and Policy Analyses of the Global Climate System: Hector v1.0,” Geoscientific Model Development 8, 939–55. DOI: 10.5194/gmd-8-939-2015. (Reference link)

Contact: Bob Vallario, SC 23.1, (301) 903-5758
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Multisector Dynamics (formerly Integrated Assessment)

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)