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Publication Date
17 March 2024

Recent E3SM Meetings and Workshops

E3SM Team at US-RSE: Ryan Forsyth (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Rob Jacob (Argonne National Laboratory), Balwinder Singh (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), Vijay Mahadevan (Argonne National Laboratory).

Learn about recent meetings and workshops in which E3SM teams have recently participated.


Research Software Engineer Conference

The 1st Annual Conference of the US Research Software Engineer Conference (US-RSE) was held in Chicago, IL October 16-18, 2023.

The term “Research Software Engineer” (RSE) refers to software engineers who write code to support research. There are generally two routes to this career: scientists who realize they prefer writing the supporting code over writing research papers and software developers who realize they prefer working in a scientific domain. As you might imagine, E3SM relies on many RSEs, primarily found in the Infrastructure Group.

Conference sponsors included two E3SM member institutions – Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Additionally, four E3SM team members attended the conference (Fig. 1), representing three national labs: Rob Jacob and Vijay Mahadevan from Argonne National Laboratory, Ryan Forsyth from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Balwinder Singh from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The Globus project, another sponsor, provided many talks on fully leveraging their service. Globus is cyber-infrastructure to transfer files, share files, automate data handling, and develop applications and gateways. Globus provides fast, reliable, authenticated large data transfers fundamental to handling E3SM’s simulation output. Globus is used to transfer output to other machines for easy post-processing. The zstash tool uses Globus to long-term archive output to NERSC HPSS. Globus also allows the data publication team to move large amounts of data efficiently.

The conference covered many topics, including common challenges in this nascent career category (such as difficulties properly configuring build/CI tools like conda and GitHub workflows, limitations of secure/proprietary environments, limited number of RSEs on a team and subsequent lack of mentorship, lack of funding, lack of recognition). Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the field was also a major priority of the conference.

There was much discussion on how cybersecurity, software reproducibility, software quality tools (e.g., linters and formatters), and code reviews can help RSEs write better software. But it was the so-called “soft skill” of communication that was emphasized as perhaps the most important skill a RSE can have. RSEs by definition bridge the worlds of software and research, and thus need to communicate with empathy between them.

Conference speakers emphasized the need to advocate for funding the RSEs who do the important work of writing the code that the research relies on. Solutions to the recognition problem included judging performance of RSEs by their software releases rather than their publications, a process that has already been adopted by some E3SM member labs, and/or including RSEs as co-authors on publications, something E3SM already does.

Ocean Science Meeting

The Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) is the global leader in ocean sciences conferences. It is a biannual meeting co-sponsored by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and The Oceanography Society (TOS). Every two years, the Ocean Sciences Meeting unifies the ocean’s community to share findings, connect scientists from around the world, and advance the impact of science. The 2024 meeting took place in New Orleans, LA, 18-23 February 2024.

OSM features a diverse set of subjects, from physical oceanographic processes to ocean biogeochemistry to education and outreach to societal impacts. Sessions cover the full range of time and spatial scales in the ocean, from the deep ocean to the coastal ocean. At this years OSM, numerous E3SM focused presentations and posters were given (see below). Presentations and posters featured science from the E3SM project itself and a number of E3SM ecosystem projects (e.g., SciDAC and Early Career). Notably, OSM24 included the first public presentation on initial OMEGA progress, the new E3SM Exascale capable ocean model.

E3SM team members Mark Petersen, Steven Brus, and PhD student Jeremy Lilly chaired the session, “Numerical Methods in Computational Oceanography”, which included both oral and poster sessions. The oral session was extremely well attended, with 200 attendees and speakers from DOE, NOAA, NCAR, and university research groups.

E3SM-related posters and presentations included:

See OSM24 ONLINE SCIENTIFIC PROGRAM AND SCHEDULE for all presentation and poster sessions.

AeroCom/AeroSAT Workshop

The 22nd AeroCom / 11th AeroSAT meeting convened from October 16-20, 2023, in Richland, WA, USA, blending virtual and in-person attendance. Co-hosted by Susannah Burrows (E3SM Atmosphere/EAMxx Deputy Group lead) and Andrew Gettelman (PNNL), the workshop attracted robust participation from international experts in the modeling and measurement of aerosol processes.

E3SM representatives took center stage at the workshop. E3SM Chief Scientist Ruby Leung kicked off the proceedings with a keynote talk giving an overview of the E3SM model. Presentations by E3SM scientists highlighted several novel aerosol features developed for E3SMv3, model development efforts to improve the aerosol forcing in E3SMv3, newly-developed diagnostic approaches, and scientific analysis of the E3SM model’s aerosols and aerosol-climate forcing.

For over twenty years, the Aerocom/AeroSAT community has significantly contributed to advancing global aerosol modeling by developing much-needed evaluation datasets and coordinating model intercomparison activities.

With presentations on topics ranging from deciphering aerosol types to grappling with the intricacies of deriving air quality from satellite data, the 2023 AeroCom/AeroSAT workshop showcased the international research community’s collective dedication to advancing aerosol research for climate, weather, and air quality applications.

Among the major themes of the 2023 workshop was the research community’s recent development of several new methods for diagnosing the climate impacts of aerosols via aerosol-cloud interactions. Among these, presentations by E3SM team members Johannes Mülmenstädt and Naser Mahfouz highlighted a method developed by E3SM researchers that enables new insights into how specific physical mechanisms control whether and how marine clouds brighten or darken in response to increases in aerosol concentrations (Mahfouz, Mülmenstädt, and Burrows, 2024 [preprint]).

Other major themes included the simulation of specific aerosol processes, and the evaluation of those simulations in different models. Several presentations highlighted new aerosol features developed by the E3SM project for the upcoming v3 release. An overview of E3SMv3’s new aerosol features was given by Hailong Wang, and further presentations highlighted E3SMv3’s updated treatment of secondary organic aerosol (Manish Shrivastava) and improved dust emissions (Yan Feng). A presentation by Yunpeng Shan highlighted improvements to the removal of aerosol by precipitation, which have contributed towards reducing the aerosol forcing on climate in development versions of the E3SMv3 atmosphere model.

In particular, the treatment of nitrate aerosol was highlighted as a key area of uncertainty for the simulation of future particulate pollution. Models are expected to simulate an increasing importance of nitrate aerosol in the future, but uncertainties in both the emissions of its precursors and the governing atmospheric chemistry make its simulation an important scientific challenge for the aerosol community. A novel treatment of nitrate aerosol will be available as a research capability in E3SMv3 and was highlighted in a presentation by Mingxuan Wu.

Additional presentations highlighted development and applications of E3SM by DOE ecosystem projects. These included several presentations on work performed by the EAGLES project (Enabling Aerosol-cloud interactions at GLobal convection-permitting scalES), which is developing new aerosol parameterizations targeting the E3SMv4 atmosphere model. A presentation by E3SM collaborator Daniel McCoy highlighted more systematic approaches that are being developed for using observations to constrain uncertainty in climate predictions, which are underway as part of the DOE EPSCoR project, PROCEED.

Following the workshop, E3SM scientist Johannes Mülmenstädt joined the AeroCom/AeroSAT Scientific Steering Committee, where he will help to guide the planning and scientific directions of future workshops and model intercomparison experiments coordinated by AeroCom/AeroSAT.

The E3SM project provided partial funding support for this workshop.

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This article is a part of the E3SM “Floating Points” NewsletterRead the full February 2024 edition.

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