Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will help develop the most complete climate and Earth system model yet.
It is one of 14 institutions, including eight national labs, that will work on the project over the next decade.
Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy, or ACME, will conduct simulations and modeling on the highest performance computing systems as they become available. That includes 100-plus petaflop machines and eventually exascale supercomputers.
The ACME partnership is planned to provide new capabilities to improve the ability to project future affects of energy choices on the Earth’s climate. Advance computing capabilities will enable better regional detail and also better quantify future sea-level rise.
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Initially the project will look at three drivers of climate change science and corresponding questions — water cycle, biogeochemistry and cryosphere systems.
More than a dozen PNNL scientists and engineers will participate in developing, testing, evaluating and using the model to address scientific questions.
Questions to be addressed across ACME include how rapid changes of cryospheric systems, or areas of the Earth where water is in the form of ice or snow, interact with the climate system and whether dynamic instability in the Antarctic ice sheet might be triggered within the next 40 years.
Other questions include how carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous biogeochemical cycles interact with global climate change and how more realistic portrayals of features important to the water cycle, such as snowpack and land use, affect river flow and freshwater supplies.