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Annual U.S. Climate Modeling Summit

To improve the coordination and communication of national climate modeling goals and objectives, USGCRP's Interagency Group on Integrative Modeling (IGIM) convenes an annual U.S. Climate Modeling Summit, beginning in 2015. The Summit brings together representatives from the U.S. “CMIP-class” climate model development centers and from operational climate prediction programs. Specifically, two representatives—one lead and one additional delegate—from each of the following groups are invited to participate in the Summit: Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL CM/ESM); Climate Forecast System (CFS); Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GIS Model E); Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS-5); Community Earth System Model (CESM); and Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM).

As envisioned by the IGIM, the high-level Summit objectives include:

  • Developing a shared understanding of modeling groups’ directions and implementation strategies,

  • Identifying opportunities for enhanced coordination and synergy among modeling groups, and

  • Identifying outreach opportunities to user communities

Ninth Meeting (April 2023)

The 9th US Climate Modeling Summit (USCMS) was held in a hybrid format at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, NJ. The Summit consisted of a 1.5-day Topical Workshop on “The oceans’ role on air – sea coupled climate interactions” during 24-25 April 2023 and a Summit Meeting on 25-26 April 2023. The Workshop engaged scientists, primarily from modeling centers and national laboratories, working on coupled ocean-atmosphere interactions and related areas. The USCMS, involving core members and USGCRP’s Interagency Group on Integrative Modeling (IGIM) managers, continued to be an opportunity for high-level modeling discussions to enhance coordination and collaborations across the centers. As in past years, the Summit Meeting was dedicated to the progress made at the modeling centers with other updates since last year’s meeting and discussions on various ongoing efforts and emerging opportunities and challenges. The meeting concluded with planning coordinated activities among the modeling centers for the upcoming year, including the 10th USCMS.

Eighth Meeting (August 2022)

The Eighth US Climate Modeling Summit (USCMS) was held in a hybrid format in Hyattsville, MD. The Summit consisted of a 1.5-day Topical Workshop on the Water Cycle and Water Security 2-3 August and a Summit Meeting 3-4 August.

The water cycle sustains life and supports a wide range of human activities. While global average precipitation is projected to increase by ~2% per 1°C of warming, precipitation over land is expected to be distributed more unevenly in both space and time as the planet warms, driving larger disparities in water availability around the world. Exacerbated by increasing weather extremes as well as higher water demand to support a growing population, society’s ability to provide reliable water for health, livelihoods, and production is increasingly threatened. With the changing water cycle and threats to water security, there are increasing demands for weather and climate forecasts and projections to improve water management and planning. However, weather and climate models exhibit noticeable biases in simulating different aspects of the water cycle, undermining their credibility for providing actionable information to address the water cycle and water security challenges facing the world.

In recognition of the need to advance predictions and projections of water cycle changes that threaten water security, the Topical Workshop consisted of plenary presentations and breakout discussions surrounding the theme of the water cycle and water security. These presentations and discussions focused on model development and evaluation, observational and modeling insights, and emerging approaches, including ultra-high-resolution modeling and artificial intelligence/machine learning.

The Summit included updates from the modeling centers on their science, priorities, challenges, and plans. Discussion topics included future outlooks on CMIP and IPCC, next generation predictions and projections, climate model data storage and accessibility challenges, CERESMIP (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System Model Intercomparison Project), ensemble strategies and (coupled) data assimilation in earth system modeling and predictions, climate process teams, and GPEX (Global Precipitation Experiment).

Seventh Meeting (June/July 2021)

The Seventh US Climate Modeling Summit (USCMS) was held virtually due to COVID-19-related restrictions. The Summit consisted of a three-day Workshop 28-30 June 2021 and a one-day Summit Meeting on 01 July 2021. The Workshop engaged scientists, primarily from the modeling centers, working on Earth system predictability and prediction. The USCMS, involving core members and IGIM managers, continued to be an opportunity for high-level modeling discussions to enhance coordination and collaborations across the centers. The Summit Meeting was dedicated to the progress made at centers and other recent updates as well as discussions on coordination to tackle relevant issues. The meeting concluded with planning coordinated activities for the upcoming year, including the Eighth USCMS.

Sixth Meeting (June/July 2020)

The Sixth U.S. Climate Modeling Summit was held virtually due to COVID-19-related restrictions. The theme of the workshop was Global Model Cloud-Aerosol Research (GM-CAR; it consisted of a series of four weekly webinars and a two-day virtual summit held June 30-July 1, 2020. 

Context for the GM-CAR workshop: Building from the detailed analysis of the last generation of models and the latest data from satellites (notably CloudSAT/CALIPSO), recent global model developments have focused on improving cloud-aerosol microphysics and other moist processes. While greater skill in matching observed climatologies and variability is universal, there has been a significant divergence of climate model sensitivities in the latest model versions, beyond the assessed range of likely values. Initial analyses suggest both cloud feedbacks in the Southern Ocean and aerosol treatments, including indirect effects, as large sources of this divergence. The workshop examined the reasons for these divergences, commonalities, and differences in parameterizations; process-based evaluation of model outputs; and future research needs.

Fifth Meeting (April 2019)

The Fifth U.S. Climate Modeling Summit was held in Lanham, MD, on April 3-4, 2019. The first day of the workshop focused on "Modes of variability and their representation in models," examining

Fourth Meeting (April 2018)

The Fourth U.S. Climate Modeling Summit included a Land-Atmosphere Interactions and Extremes Workshop on April 4, 2018. Land surface processes are increasingly being recognized as an important source of predictability at weather to climate time scales, and the land surface represents an important intersection between human activities and the Earth system. The workshop provided a forum for discussions to prioritize research and development for the modeling centers and to promote interactions among the centers and between the centers and the broader community to advance the workshop topical areas. This workshop consisted of four parts. Part I provided an overview of the state-of–the-art of land modeling at the six centers. Parts II through IV consisted of Subject Matter Experts presenting papers and a subsequent group discussion. The subjects addressed were land-atmosphere interactions and extremes (Part II), hydrological extremes (Part III) and Coastal, land and human interactions (Part IV). 

On April 5th, 2018, the USCMS members met to exchange of information between modeling centers and improve coordination among centers and sponsoring IGIM agencies. The first part of the meeting included updates from IGIM, the USCMS Chair and the centers, with a particular focus on updates and activities during the past year. There will also be a discussion on outcomes from the Land-Atmosphere Interactions and Extremes Workshop.The second part of the meeting was dedicated to the initial progress made at centers for CMIP6.

Third Meeting (March 2017)

The Third U.S. Climate Modeling Summit was held March 15, 2017, in the Washington, DC area following an Arctic workshop convened by the CMS participants. The USCMS works to build synergies in themes relevant to multiple U.S. agencies for their Earth system modeling and prediction efforts. This year's themes include: 1) Arctic science and predictions conducted/planned at the various modeling centers; 2) Subseasonal-to-seasonal predictability that strives for seamless prediction capabilities; 3) Model Intercomparison Projects that include discussion/action on the CMIP6 activities; 4) Next generation HPC requirements for weather/climate.

Second Meeting (March 2016)

The Second U.S. Climate Modeling Summit was held March 2016 in the Washington, DC area. This meeting is dedicated to more specific exchanges among Centers with the goal of facilitating enhanced coordination on specific items of interest to multiple Centers: 1) CMIP or other Coordinated Modeling activities; and 2) Opportunities and challenges for modeling with high resolution and advanced physical representation. This will be done in the context of USGCRP priorities, and the evolving condition of Federal Supercomputing and Software, and the interfaces with Integrated Assessment and Impact-Adaptation and Vulnerability research.

First Meeting (February 2015)

The First U.S. Climate Modeling Summit was held in February 2015 in the Washington, DC area. The overarching goal of the meeting was to enhance coordination toward a common national climate modeling strategy and communication with the broader modeling community. The meeting also began to identify priorities for future Summit activities and needs for topical Climate Forums, as recommended by the National Research Council report, A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling.  An initial Climate Forum planned by the Summit leads was held in conjunction with the meeting and focused on U.S. participation in CMIP6(link is external).

IA-IAV-ESM Workshop: Toward Multi-Model Frameworks Addressing Multi-Sector Dynamics, Risks, and Resiliency

A Workshop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy for the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Interagency Group on Integrative Modeling and Interagency Coordinating Group: May 24-26, 2016

This workshop is one of several efforts convened under the auspices of the U.S. Global Change Research Program that are intended to develop concepts for a modeling framework or architecture to couple Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (IAV) models; Integrated Assessment (IA) models; and climate, Earth system, hydrology, land use, demography, and other models. The framework will facilitate integration of a wide range of model capabilities to meet a growing societal need to better understand the potential for cascading impacts of interacting societal and environmental change across sectors and scales. The workshop is being coordinated by an Interagency Coordinating Group with technical inputs from a Scientific Steering Group. The agencies that comprise the workshop’s Interagency Coordinating Group share a common interest in the scientific challenges associated with modeling the interactions of human and environmental systems to support risk management.

The workshop addresses the following challenges:

  • Systematize needs and uses: Explore uses, scale and information dependencies associated with these uses, and specific information needs for categories of problems. Discussions at the workshop are intended to help development of a “use typology” that will identify needs to guide research and development of the framework

  • Inventory and evaluate the state of science: Inventory extant and emerging models and frameworks for representing and integrating key processes and interactions. This will include evaluating sector-specific IAV models (ranging from those focused on resource productivity to market interactions), IAMs, a range of approaches for characterizing changes in climate and related physical systems (e.g., hydrology, land cover), and methods for modeling socioeconomic systems and behavior. The workshop will explore data requirements, coupling strategies, mechanisms to capture impact and adaptation information that is not amenable to modeling, approaches for evaluating risk, and model evaluation

  • Develop the conceptual framework: Discuss a conceptual framework for research and modeling that defines data and coupling needs by identifying interactions across scales, sectors, and temporal processes essential for addressing the problems and information needs. Participants will also explore the near-term mechanisms and activities for implementation of the framework concept in ongoing and planned model development activities across the USGCRP and interested research community

  • Identify research needs/opportunities and options for program development: Explore needed advances in fundamental research on Earth systems, environmental, and societal processes; specialized sector-specific models; and models able to represent interactions and tradeoffs across sectors, systems, and time/spatial scales that can contribute to advancing the state of science. This will include identifying research gaps and priorities for different intended applications and user communities

  • IA-IAV-ESM Workshop: Toward Multi-Model Frameworks Addressing Multi-Sector Dynamics, Risks, and Resiliency