High-Resolution Climate Change Simulations with the CESM

PI Gerald Meehl, NCAR
a present-day simulation with a 1/4 degree horizontal resolution atmosphere
Project Description

In support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research program, the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s (NCAR) Climate Change Prediction (CCP) group seeks to understand complex biological, climatic, and environmental systems across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Their work includes producing and analyzing suites of climate simulations with the Community Earth System Model (CESM), and comparing the results to larger multi-model datasets.

For this INCITE project, the CCP research team will use Mira to perform simulations with the CESM at the highest atmospheric and oceanic resolutions currently feasible for century-long climate simulations. Building on previous INCITE research, the team will analyze the simulations to address science challenges involving long-term climate change projections, future hurricanes and tropical cyclones, regional precipitation and temperature extremes, global and regional sea level rise, and response of the future atmospheric hydrological cycle. Four 100-year future scenario simulations will be integrated using the CESM with atmosphere/land horizontal resolution of approximately 0.25° and an ocean/sea ice resolution of approximately 1.0°. These simulations have been shown to be extremely useful in constraining future climate projections and identifying future climate states.

The overarching purposes of the research are to investigate climate variability and change, and to evaluate potential consequences of energy use strategies of direct relevance within the energy-climate nexus. This project’s findings will be critical to the future climate change studies, including the International Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report and U.S. National Climate Assessment.