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ACME - Perfecting Earth System Models

by Kathy Chambers on Wed, October 29, 2014

Alternate Text PlaceholderEarth 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; and investigate the influence of alternative model structures for below-ground reaction networks on global-scale biogeochemistry–climate feedbacks.  ACME also plans to build models that will address the potential instability associated with grounding line dynamics in marine ice sheets around Antarctica. 

ACME is the only earth system modeling project to utilize DOE Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) Facilities as its primary computing architectures.  ACME will be an evolving project within a constantly changing environment.  Over the next ten years, ACME plans to conduct simulations and modeling on the most sophisticated high-performance computing machines as they become available, i.e., 100-plus petaflop machines and eventually exascale supercomputers.  The team initially will utilize DOE’s Leadership Computing Facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory.

The ACME project plans to assert and maintain an international scientific leadership position in the development of earth system and climate models at the leading edge of scientific knowledge and computational capabilities.  Keep informed about the ACME project by searching DOE’s National Library of EnergyBeta for ACME endeavors across the DOE Complex.  Additional information about earth system models research is available in the October 2014 DOE Science Showcase – Earth System Models and information about perfecting and using earth system models is available In the OSTI Collections: Earth System Models by Dr. William Watson.

Image credit:  LANL

Page last updated on 2017-03-21 11:32

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Kathy Chambers
Technical Writer, Information International Associates, Inc.