Earth System Modeling

Optimizing emerging high-performance computing and information technologies, the Earth System Modeling (ESM) Program concentrates on advancing coupled climate and Earth system models for climate change projections at global-to-regional spatial scales and temporal scales spanning decadal to centennial. The ESM program focuses on research that improves representations in specific model components to achieve credible high-resolution climate simulations that address the variability and predictability of climate system changes and directly impact societal issues pertaining to future energy use and technology. ESM research and modeling tools directly support the Regional and Global Climate Modeling (RGCM) program. In addition, ESM contributes to the Climate Variability and Change element of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and coordinates with climate modeling programs sourced at other federal agencies.

Recent Content

Recent Highlights

Objective •To compare modeled and observed patterns of the vertical structure of atmospheric temperature change Research •To determine whether anthropogenic “fingerprint” is statistically identifiable in satellite observations •To determine whether identification of a human-caused fingerprint is...
Objective: To improve scientific understanding of volcanic effects on climate during the late 20th and early 21st centuries Research •  To determine whether multi-variable signals of recent volcanic activity are identifiable in satellite observations •  To estimate the percentage of the...
Objective • To understand and interpret results published by Johansson et al. in a 2015 paper in Nature Climate Change Research • To determine why Johansson et al. obtained very small estimates of the surface cooling (-0.2°C) and the net radiative forcing (-1W/m2) caused by the eruption of...
Objective • Improve scientific understanding of the volcanic contribution to the post-1998 “warming hiatus” Research • To determine whether signals of early 21st century volcanic activity are identifiable in satellite observations • To understand the causes of differences between modeled and...
This study constructed and validated the first-ever observaiton-based band-by-band surface emissivity data base for the entire globe and for the entire longwave spectrum range. The impact of such realistic surface emissivity on the TOA radiation budget is also assessed.

Publications

The relatively muted warming of the surface and lower troposphere since 1998 has attracted considerable attention. One contributory factor to this “warming hiatus” is an increase in volcanically induced cooling over the early 21st century. Here we identify the signals of late 20th and early 21st...
The paper attempts to understand and interpret results published by Johansson et al. in a 2015 paper in Nature Climate Change. It shows that Johansson et al.’s estimate of the radiative forcing from Pinatubo is 2.5 to 5 times smaller than the forcing inferred from direct and indirect observations...
Despite continued growth in atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, global mean surface and tropospheric temperatures have shown slower warming since 1998 than previously 1–5. Possible explanations for the slow-down include internal climate variability 3,4,6,7 , external cooling influences 1,2,4,8...
While current atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs) still treat the surface as a blackbody in their longwave radiation scheme, recent studies suggest the need of taking realistic surface spectral emissivity into account. There has been few measurements available for the surface emissivity...
The Community Land Model (CLM) represents physical, chemical, and biological processes of the terrestrial ecosystems that interact with climate across a range of spatial and temporal scales. As CLM includes numerous sub-models and associated parameters, the high-dimensional parameter space...