Building Synergy in the U.S. Modeling Community
Modeling Earth’s climate furthers priorities of national interest, from experimental research to understand the Earth system to operational forecasts and projections that inform decisions. Coordination among the Nation’s premier modeling centers—particularly between experimental and operational programs (see also Highlight 31)—has the potential to advance forecasting capabilities, yield more robust predictions, and bridge models of near-term weather and longer-term climate that currently are separated by high-
In February 2015, responding to a National Research Council report, USGCRP convened the first annual U.S. Climate Modeling Summit to bring together scientists from CMIP-class experimental modeling centers and operational prediction centers. Participants included representatives from NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP); NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO); the Community Earth System Model (CESM), which is hosted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and funded by NSF and DOE; and the Accelerated Climate Model for Energy (ACME), funded by DOE with participation from eight national laboratories, NCAR, academic institutions, and the private sector.
The Summit facilitated a shared understanding of the distinct and complementary goals, strategies, and capabilities of each modeling center. Participants identified opportunities for better coordination and considered potential outreach opportunities to enhance the understandability and usability of climate model output. A white paper from the Summit on planned collaboration areas was released in April 2015. The Summit will continue to meet formally each year, buttressed by ongoing coordination to advance shared objectives and to accelerate the translation of knowledge and capabilities from research to operations.