High Resolution Climate Change Simulations with the CESM

PI Gerald Meehl, NCAR
The ensemble mean of mid-latitude storm track density

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. CCP’s work includes producing and analyzing suites of climate simulations with the Community Earth System Model (CESM) and then comparing the results to larger multi-model datasets. 

For 2018, the team intends to further clarify the effects of small-scale regional features and interactions across spatial scales, especially how they influence high-impact events in climate, by proceeding with CESM1.3 simulations using a 0.25° atmosphere/land coupled to a 0.1° ocean/ice resolution. This is pioneering work with the CESM, representing the forefront of Earth system modeling capabilities, and has the potential for being transformative within the climate projection discipline. The completion of these century-long experiments with CESM at its highest possible atmosphere and ocean resolution will create a rich climate modeling database available not only to members of the CCP team, but also to climate scientists at DOE labs and universities to mine for analysis of related climate variability and climate change problems. 

The overarching purposes of the research are to investigate climate variability and change related to high-impact events. This project’s findings will be critical to future climate change studies, both of national and international interest.