Energy Exascale Earth System Model

PI Peter Caldwell, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Co-PI Mark Taylor, Sandia National Laboratories
Chris Terai, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Oksana Guba, Sandia National Laboratories
Ben Hillman, Sandia National Laboratories
Sarat Sreepathi, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Xingqiu Yuan, Argonne National Laboratory
Dave Bader, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Ruby Leung, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Caldwell INCITE Graphic

Snapshots of upwelling shortwave radiative flux at model top from a January SCREAM simulation, taken two days into the simulation (2020-01-22 at 02:00:00 UTC). The orthographic pro- jection in the middle panel shows model clouds represented by shortwave flux superimposed on a NASA Blue Marble image [53]. The insets show comparisons against Himawari-8 visible satellite imagery for two scenes: a cold air outbreak event near Siberia (left), and a cyclone south of Australia (right).

Project Summary

This team set out to perform an unprecedented pair of decadal-scale climate simulations with an atmospheric grid spacing of 3.25 km. 

Project Description

This project is in support of the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) project, a multi-laboratory project developing a leading-edge climate and Earth system model designed to address U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) mission needs and specifically targeting DOE Leadership Computing Facility resources now and in the future. E3SM is a collaborative effort across eight national laboratories and twelve academic institutions working towards the development of a cutting-edge Earth system model for the most demanding climate research applications. 

The main goal of this year’s INCITE proposal is to perform an unprecedented pair of decadal-scale climate simulations with atmospheric grid spacing of 3.25 km. This is two orders of magnitude finer than most climate models and will greatly improve our model predictions. One reason for this is that the team will explicitly resolve mountains, coastlines, and storms, which will allow the team to capture climate impacts that aren’t captured by conventional climate models. Fine resolution will also allow the team to explicitly resolve deep convection, which plays a central role in determining how much warming the team will experience for a given CO2 increase. The thing that makes these runs groundbreaking is their duration – many groups have done simulations at this resolution of a month to a year in length, but these runs are too short to separate climate change signal from weather noise. Long simulations are also needed to sample extreme events, which are by definition rare. The decadal-scale simulations planned for this proposal will enable statistically-robust analysis of climate impacts using a global storm-resolving simulation for the first time.