The Climate, Ocean and Sea Ice Modeling (COSIM)

The CCPP Model development and Resources supports the analysis component of Climate, Ocean and Sea Ice Modeling (COSIM) at Los Alamos. This project develops, optimizes, and validates high-performance ocean and ice models for climate change research and supports them as components of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) and other coupled climate models. The project will continue to support and improve the current Parallel Ocean Program (POP), Los Alamos sea ice model (CICE) and the Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM). A new ocean model with hybrid vertical coordinates and an unstructured, variable-resolution horizontal grid is under development. Research in numerical methods, physical parameterizations and analysis tools will form the basis for continued improvements. The models will be applied and validated in studies of high-latitude climate change and its impacts. Ice sheet melting and sea-level rise will drive ice sheet model development and ice-shelf/ocean coupling. Ocean eddies and other mesoscale processes have a strong impact on climate, especially at high latitudes and through impacts on ocean thermohaline circulation; high-resolution and variable-resolution simulations will explore these processes and inform further ocean model development. Rapid changes in sea ice require improved representations of high-latitude ocean and ice processes like ice hydrology, oceanice coupling and biogeochemical interactions. In addition to science drivers, changes in computing architectures are creating a compelling need to co-design new model algorithms, programming models and machine architecture to create the optimal computational performance required to meet climate science needs.

Project Term: 
2011 to 2012
Project Type: 
Laboratory Funded Research

Research Highlights:

Ocean Currents Alone Cannot Explain the Zapiola Rise Highlight Presentation
Ocean currents complicate reconstructions of past climate Highlight Presentation
Sea Ice Volume and Age: Sensitivity to physical parameterizations and thickness resolution in the CICE sea ice model Highlight Presentation
September 2007 Sea Ice Minimum Used as a Case Study Considering the Importance of Surface Forcing for Sea Ice Models Highlight Presentation
Topographically-Trapped Ocean Variability Dominates Wind-Driven Circulation in the Bellingshausen Basin Highlight Presentation