Delivering the Department of Energy's Next-­Generation High-Resolution Earth System Model

PI Name: 
Peter Thornton
PI Email: 
thorntonpe@ornl.gov
Institution: 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Allocation Program: 
ALCC
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
158 Million
Year: 
2016
Research Domain: 
Earth Science

The  ACME  (Accelerated  Climate  Modeling  for  Energy)  project  builds  on  the  National  Laboratory system’s expertise in climate, high performance computing and data to create a next-­generation  Earth  system  model  for  use  by  the  scientific  community.  The  priority  of  this  project  is  to  improve  predictive  understanding  of  the  Earth’s  climate  system,  with  a focus on the coupled system dynamics linking the atmosphere, oceans, land, and ice. The first phase of the project uses focused model development and a carefully configured set of simulation experiments to address three primary scientific questions:

1)    How do the hydrological cycle and water resources interact with the climate system on local to global scales?
2)    How do biogeochemical cycles interact with global climate change?
3)    How  do  rapid  changes  in  glaciers,  snow  cover,  ice  sheets,  and  other  forms  of  frozen water (collectively referred to as the cryosphere) interact with the climate system?

This  effort  concentrates  the  efforts  of  climate,  computational,  software,  and  data  experts  across  seven  national  laboratories  and  other  key  partners  to  target  a  high-­resolution coupled simulation capability over a nominal 80-­year window centered on the present-­day (approximately 1970-­2050). In parallel to the implementation of the Earth system model, domain experts will continually update the atmospheric, ocean, and, and ice sub-­models to ensure that these sub-­models, and the coupled Earth system model, incorporate the most recent  science.  This  effort  will  allow  ACME  to  deliver  a  landmark  capability  in  high-­resolution Earth system modeling