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

Investigate how regional precipitation (P) in the 21st century may be affected by changes in both ENSO-driven P variability and slowly-evolving mean P. Research: •Identify a time-invariant canonical ENSO (cENSO) pattern in observed SST data (Fig. 1). •Evaluate how well/when 33 coupled models...
Atmospheric aerosol particles have a large impact on air quality and climate. While much is known about how particles move around and affect clouds in the atmosphere, little is known about how fast they are removed from the atmosphere because direct observations are complex and elusive. In their...
The vertical distribution of aerosols is important because it affects the likelihood that aerosols will be removed from the atmosphere by clouds and because it affects the impact of the aerosols on the global energy balance. Particles high in the atmosphere generally reside in the atmosphere...
The integrated Earth system involves multi-phase, multi-component biogeophysical and biogeochemical processes and integrated models introducing numerous model and coupling parameters and therefore a formidable high-dimensional parameter space. Because many of the parameters cannot be observed or...
Attempts to estimate the change in the Earth’s energy balance due to the influence of human-caused aerosols on clouds are fraught with uncertainty because of the many processes involved, the wide range of spatial and temporal scales, and the inability to measure the changes since the dawn of the...

Publications

Aerosols have important impacts on air quality and climate, but the processes affecting their removal from the atmosphere are not fully understood and are poorly constrained by observations. This makes modelled aerosol lifetimes uncertain. In this study, we make use of an observational constraint...
The ability of eleven models in simulating the aerosol vertical distribution from regional to global scales, as part of the second phase of the AeroCom model inter-comparison initiative (AeroCom II) is assessed and compared to results of the first phase. The evaluation is performed using a global...
Effective sensitivity analysis approaches are needed to identify important parameters or factors and their uncertainties in complex Earth system models composed of multi-phase multi-component phenomena and multiple biogeophysical-biogeochemical processes. In this study, the impacts of 10...
The effect of an increase in atmospheric aerosol concentrations on the distribution and radiative properties of Earth’s clouds is the most uncertain component of the overall global radiative forcing from preindustrial time. General circulation models (GCMs) are the tool for predicting future...
El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an important driver of regional hydroclimate variability through far-reaching teleconnections. This study uses simulations performed with coupled general circulation models (CGCMs) to investigate how regional precipitation in the twenty-first century may be...