Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling
Read this message from Gary Geernaert, director of the Climate and Environmental Sciences Division within the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Biological and Environmental Research. Read more

Regional & Global Model Analysis

The overarching goal of the Regional & Global Model Analysis (RGMA) program area is to enhance predictive and process- and system-level understanding of the modes of variability and change within the earth system by advancing capabilities to design, evaluate, diagnose, and analyze global and regional earth system model (ESM) simulations informed by observations.  

The rapidly increasing complexity of ESMs necessitates a rigorous and comprehensive understanding and evaluation of their skill and behavior. Multifaceted, multisystem approaches are required to probe and understand the various feedbacks within and among individual systems, including the atmosphere, ocean, land surface, and cryosphere. The use of model simulations, in combination with observations, enables a deeper understanding of the earth system and models that emulate it.

The RGMA program area focuses on analyzing regions critical to understanding the dynamics of climate variability and change; evaluating robust methods for higher spatial resolution simulations; and diagnosing and analyzing state-of-the-science coupled climate and ESMs across a wide range of scales. These analyses often take the form of modeling experiments that target various aspects of the climate system, including detection and attribution of changes, analysis of climate response to perturbations, exploration of predictability on subseasonal-to-decadal scales, and analysis of feedbacks within the earth system. Understanding and reducing biases of earth system models, as well as uncertainty characterization, are also important elements of the RGMA program area.

To enhance understanding of processes and feedbacks, and to reduce uncertainties and biases in ESMs, the RGMA program area has six major thrusts, each with unique priorities. These are enabled through a combination of university projects, science focus areas (SFA), and cooperative agreements (CA), as indicated in parentheses:

  • Cloud processes and Feedbacks focuses on improving simulation accuracy through better cloud representations in ESMs and on determining the cloud feedbacks that influence climate sensitivity and change. (PCMDI SFA)
  • Biogeochemical Processes and Feedbacks focuses on identifying and quantifying feedbacks between biogeochemical cycles and the earth system and on quantifying and reducing the uncertainties in ESMs associated with these feedback processes. (RUBISCO SFA)
  • High-Latitude Processes and Feedbacks aims at a better understanding of the processes driving rapid system change at high latitudes and the subsequent effects on the Earth’s environment. (HiLAT SFA)
  • Modes of Variability and Change provides insight on the interplay between internally generated climate variability and externally forced response for improved understanding of near-term decadal predictability and projections in the context of longer-term projections. (PCMDI SFA and CATALYST CA)
  • Extreme Event Drivers, Statistics, and Uncertainties targets actionable understanding of multi-sectoral impacts of extreme weather events, especially droughts, floods, and tropical cyclones, and the physical mechanisms that drive variability and change in extremes. (CASCADE SFA & HyperFACETS CA)
  • Water Cycle focuses on advancing the understanding of multiscale water cycle processes and hydrologic extremes and their response to perturbations in the context of the whole earth system and implications for water availability. (WACCEM SFA & HyperFACETS CA)

Some of the cross-cutting capabilities that are the strength of the RGMA program area include:

  • Development of frameworks using a hierarchy of models, ranging from the most complex, very high-resolution climate models like the Department of Energy’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), non-hydrostatic atmospheric models, variable resolution models, and super parametrized models to less complex system models or idealized configurations of complex models for hypothesis testing and addressing scientific questions. (WACCEM SFA, HiLAT SFA, CASCADE SFA, CATALYST CA, HyperFACETS CA)
  • Holistic uncertainty characterization is enabled by a suite of tools, ranging from cutting-edge computational capabilities to complementary empirical models enabled by the latest statistical techniques. This enables us to understand and evaluate the need for improved observations and models. (CASCADE SFA, HiLAT SFA, CATALYST CA)
  • Diagnosing the complex behavior of model simulations and evaluating the capability of models through systematic comparison with available observations and quantifiable metrics, novel diagnostics, and robust extreme event identification methods are some of the core activities of the RGMA program area. These provide pathways for advancing an understanding of the earth system, improving models, and reducing uncertainties that exist in current ESMs. (RUBISCO SFA, WACCEM SFA, PCMDI SFA, CASCADE SFA, CATALYST CA)

The RGMA program area also actively contributes to and coordinates its activities with the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), the U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Program (US CLIVAR), and Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC).

Solicitations: Funding opportunity announcements are posted on the DOE Office of Science Grants and Contracts Website and at Information about preparing and submitting applications, as well as the DOE Office of Science merit review process, is at the DOE Office of Science Grants and Contracts Web Site.

Data Sharing Policy: Funding for projects by the program area is contingent on adherence to the BER data sharing policy.


Current RGMA Science Focus Areas

Current RGMA Laboratory Projects

Current RGMA University Projects

Current RGMA Cooperative Agreements

Recent Content

Fact Sheets

Benchmarking Simulated Precipitation in Earth System Models PDF
InteRFACE: Understanding Earth System Change Across Arctic Coastal Environments PDF
International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) and International Ocean Model Benchmarking (IOMB) Packages PDF
RUBISCO Soil Carbon Dynamics Working Group 2018 Fall Meeting Final Report PDF
Assessing the Simulation of Precipitation in Earth System Models White Paper PDF
Reducing Uncertainties in Biogeochemical Interactions through Synthesis and Computation (RUBISCO) PDF
HyperFACETS: Improving Analysis and Modeling of Earth System and Intersectoral Dynamics at Regional Scales PDF
HiLAT-RASM: High-Latitude Application and Testing of Earth System Models - Phase II PDF
Toolkit for Extreme Climate Analysis (TECA) PDF
PCMDI Metrics Package (PMP) PDF