The first step towards any solution is understanding the problem, and that’s where the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) – in separate collaborations with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Colorado State University – applies its heavy-duty number-crunching expertise.
With both Livermore Lab and Colorado State – recent recipient of a $19 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to establish a Science and Technology Center – SDSC is working to thoroughly describe and model the role of clouds and other atmospheric phenomena, with the eventual goal of accurate worldwide forecasts.
SDSC, an organized research unit of the University of California, San Diego, has partnered with Livermore since 2005 on an advanced scientific data-management project dedicated to both global climate modeling and cosmology simulations of the early universe. Tim Barnett, of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, leads the climate-modeling effort; Michael Norman leads the cosmological research at UC San Diego.
“Our work with the Livermore Lab uses global climate modeling to determine the impact of climate changes on water supply,” said Barnett. “We’ll answer the question: Can we detect a global warming signal in main hydrological features of the Western United States? This will involve making runs of global climate and downscaling models that will be unprecedented in scope.”
The collaboration with Colorado State was announced in July, with UC San Diego’s John Helly, laboratory director for earth and environmental sciences at SDSC, named co-principal investigator. That work will also be, in many ways, unprecedented.
“The characterization of clouds is a major limitation in current climate models,” Helly said, discussing the urgency of such research. “With this award, the Center for Meso-scale-modeling of Atmospheric Processes is provided the opportunity to advance the accuracy and precision of atmospheric models. SDSC will play a key role in making this problem computationally tractable, as well as in disseminating the voluminous, high-resolution model results to the research and education community.”
The center is a node on the Teragrid, and its hardware and software systems support the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s SIOExplorer digital library, the Real-Time Observatories Network data grid, the NSF’s National Science Digital Library persistent archive, the Joint Center for Structural Genomics data grid, the Alliance for Cell Signaling digital library, the UC San Diego Libraries’ ArtStor image collection, and the Southern California Earthquake Center digital library, among other institutions and resources.
Can those massive computing abilities make enough sense of the unpredictable atmosphere to enable timely, and life-saving, forecasts? Scientists admit that even with today’s leading-edge resources, simulations still cannot capture the full complexity of the global-scale patterns of the weather.
But Colorado State’s David Randall, professor of atmospheric science and director of the newly funded NSF Science and Technology Center, believes his institution and the SDSC have developed a prototype model with significant promise.
“Our model allows scientists to take a two-dimensional model of a collection of clouds and apply the behavior of those clouds to each of the thousands of ‘grid columns’ of a global atmospheric model,” he said. “The project will make it possible to produce more robust simulations of both next week’s weather and future climate change.”
Fran Berman, director of the SDSC, sees great benefits to the partnerships with Livermore and Colorado State. "To understand a force as dynamic and complex as the Earth's atmosphere -- or something as ephemeral as a cloud -- today involves simulations with massive computing resources and data collections. SDSC is delighted to participate in the new Science and Technology Center with our partners, and we look forward to the new discoveries that will ensue from this collaboration."
Paul K. Mueller | EurekAlert!
NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica
05.12.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
GPM sees deadly tornadic storms moving through US Southeast
01.12.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering