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OSTIblog Articles in the Supercomputers Topic

ACME - Perfecting Earth System Models

by Kathy Chambers 29 Oct, 2014 in

Earth system modeling as we know it and how it benefits climate change research is about to transform with the newly launched Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME) project sponsored by the Earth System Modeling program within the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research.  ACME is an unprecedented collaboration among eight national laboratories, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, four academic institutions, and one private-sector company to develop and apply the most complete, leading-edge climate and earth system models to the most challenging and demanding climate-change issues.  They collectively represent a unique combination of scientific and engineering expertise as well as advanced computing and information technologies required to construct, maintain, and advance an earth system modeling capability that will help us better understand and address climate change.

The core of the ACME project is model development.  This element connects the scientific and energy mission needs with computing power provided by the DOE Office of Science.  The models created will be used to simulate changes in the hydrological cycle, with a specific focus on precipitation and surface water in orographically complex regions such as the western United States and the headwaters of the Amazon.  They will address biogeochemistry by examining how more complete treatments of nutrient cycles affect carbon-climate feedbacks, with a focus on tropical systems;...

Related Topics: Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy, ACME, Advanced Scientific Computing Research, ASCR, climate change, earth systems modeling, High-performance computing, HPC, In the OSTI Collections, Supercomputers


The Remarkable Legacy of Kenneth Geddes Wilson


The Remarkable Legacy of Kenneth Geddes Wilson

It is rare when someone comes along whose ideas change science. Nobel Laureate Kenneth Geddes Wilson (1936 –2013) forever changed how we think about physics. Wilson left a legacy of his prize-winning problem solving in theoretical physics, the use of computer simulations and the modeling of physical phenomena, the establishment of supercomputer centers for scientific research, and physics education and science education reform.

Wilson was gifted mathematically at an early age. His grandfather taught him how to do mathematical computations in his mind. When he was 8 years old, he would calculate cube roots in his head while waiting for the school bus.  This brilliant and shy young boy went through grade school and high school at an accelerated pace to enroll in Harvard when he was only 16 years old. He obtained his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology, did postdoc studies at Harvard as a junior fellow that included a year at CERN, joined the faculty of Cornell University and later Ohio State University’s Departments of Physics. At the age of 46, he became one of the youngest winners of a Noble Prize when he received the 1982 Noble Prize in Physics based on his pioneering work developing a theoretical framework on the nature of phase transitions, such as the moment when metal melts at a certain temperature or when liquid transforms to a gaseous state. 

Wilson solved some of the most fundamental problems in theoretical physics. We owe much of our understanding of renormalization, effective field theory, phase transitions,...

Related Topics: effective field theory, renormalization, Supercomputers, theoretical physics