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

Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing

Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing

Recent Content

Current Projects

Recent Highlights

A coupled solid-earth and ice sheet model is used to simulate the evolution of West Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier for a range of potential mantle viscosities. The work uses DOE's BISICLES ice sheet model with adaptive mesh refinement to resolve ice flow down to 500 m resolution, which is...
16 ice sheet models, including DOE SciDAC’s BISICLES and MALI models, were used to project Antarctica’s potential 21st-century sea-level contribution due to sub-ice shelf melting. The application of linear response theory allows for confidence intervals due to uncertainties in melt forcing and ice...
Comparing results from several ocean models that include the cavities under Antarctic ice shelves has shown significant, worrying differences in how much melting each model produces.  In this work, we use three models that span a range of different vertical grids to explore why models with a high...
Climate exhibits substantial internal variability, but existing ice sheet model simulations projecting sea-level rise ignore this. We added variability to the ocean temperatures that force the melting beneath the ice shelf of Thwaites Glacier in a model and found that the inclusion of variability...
Modern computer models for weather, climate, and earth systems contain numerous modules that simulate the complex workings of distinct physical and dynamical phenomena, such as ocean currents, atmospheric winds, clouds, and river flows. These individual modules are typically developed by separate...
A locally conservative transport scheme is designed for next-generation computing platforms.
Near-term prediction of climate, an important activity at national and international climate centers, is challenging because it is affected by both natural variability and external forcing. This work provides a methodology that enhances the predictive skill of near-term climate predictions.
Algorithms and software were developed to solve a key challenge, property preservation, in modeling atmospheric transport of trace constituent species, such as water vapor, trace gases, and aerosols. These methods will speed up global climate models.
We improved the fidelity of surface-atmosphere longwave radiation coupling over Sahara and Sahel region in the climate model. We showed such improvement can affect simulated climate, regional and beyond. 
In order to provide credible predictions of sea level rise to policymakers and stakeholders, scientists need accurate representations of land ice as simulated within Earth system models.  Confidence in the simulations is attained through a robust validation of these models that is available to the...

Recent Publications

The ice sheets of the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) are vulnerable to the marine ice sheet instability (MISI), which could cause irreversible collapse and raise sea levels by over a meter. The uncertain timing and scale of this collapse depend on the complex interaction between ice, ocean, and...
A wide range of programming models are currently under rapid development to meet the needs of application developers looking to work on more complex machines. These models fill a variety of roles. Some look to abstract supercomputer architecture, including both processors and memory, to present a...
The sea-level contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet constitutes a large uncertainty in future sea-level projections. Here we apply a linear response theory approach to 16 state-of-the-art ice sheet models to estimate the Antarctic ice sheet contribution from basal ice-shelf melting within the...
Understanding ice shelf-ocean interaction is fundamental to projecting the Antarctic ice sheet response to a warming climate. Numerical ice shelf-ocean models are a powerful tool for simulating this interaction, yet are limited by inherent model weaknesses and scarce observations, leading to...
Modeling and observations suggest that Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica, has begun an unstable retreat. Concurrently, oceanographic observations have revealed substantial multiyear variability in the temperature of the ocean water driving retreat through melting of the ice shelf that restrains...
A set of algorithms based on characteristic discontinuous Galerkin methods is presented for tracer transport on the sphere. The algorithms are designed to reduce MPI communication volume per unit of simulated time relative to current methods generally and to the spectral element scheme employed by...
Since near‐term predictions of present‐day climate are controlled by both initial condition predictability and boundary condition predictability, initialized prediction experiments aim to augment the external‐forcing‐related predictability realized in uninitialized projections with initial‐...
Deficiencies in the parameterizations of convection used in global climate models often lead to a distorted representation of the simulated rainfall intensity distribution (i.e., too much rainfall from weak rain rates). While encouraging improvements in high percentile rainfall intensity have been...
Atmospheric tracer transport is a computationally demanding component of the atmospheric dynamical core of weather and climate simulations. Simulations typically have tens to hundreds of tracers. A tracer field is required to preserve several properties, including mass, shape, and tracer...
This study quantifies the impact of the inclusion of realistic surface spectral emissivity in the Sahara and Sahel on the simulated local climate and beyond. The surface emissivity in these regions can be as low as 0.6-0.7 over the infrared window band while close to unity in other spectral bands,...

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