Climate Modeling

ModEx Approach

The Environmental System Science (ESS) program targets terrestrial systems whose current representation or large uncertainties in community models represent significant knowledge gaps for predictive understanding of integrated Earth systems. Through an iterative model-experiment (ModEx) approach, ESS research activities help to improve the representation of ecological and hydro-biogeochemical processes in coupled models, and model predictions are compared against observations or field experiments to identify uncertainties that need further observational and field research.

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Integrated Model-Observation-Experiment (ModEx) Paradigm. The Biological and Environmental Research program’s ModEx approach integrates process research, which involves observations, experiments, and measurements performed in the field or laboratory, with modeling research, which simulates these same processes. This integrated loop ensures that models incorporate state-of-the-science knowledge about critical systems, and the resulting improved models can be used to guide field and laboratory research to inform future decisions.

Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling

Modeling research within the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) is supported by BER’s Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling (EESM) program. This program develops and demonstrates advanced modeling and simulation capabilities to improve understanding of significant drivers, feedbacks, and uncertainties within the integrated Earth system and enhance its predictability over multiple spatial and temporal scales. EESM investments focus on model development, model analysis, and understanding the role of multisector interactions with the physical-human system.

The Earth System Model Development program area supports the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) and its subcomponents to address the research community’s more challenging science questions, such as those involving water cycle science, cloud-aerosol interactions, ice-sheet physics and dynamics, biogeochemical cycles, ocean-eddy dynamics, and the interdependence of low-frequency variability and extreme weather. E3SM’s aim is to push the frontier of high-resolution simulation of extreme Earth system phenomena and components across scales and disciplines.

The Regional and Global Model Analysis (RGMA) program area seeks to enhance a predictive understanding of variability and change within the Earth system by advancing capabilities to design, evaluate, diagnose, and analyze global and regional Earth system model simulations informed by observations. RGMA focuses on predictability across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales using a multimodel approach and a hierarchy of models, data management architectures, uncertainty characterization, and diagnostic measures. Activities examine interactions and feedbacks across the weather-climate spectrum.

The MultiSector Dynamics (MSD) program area encompasses the complex interactions and potential co-evolutionary pathways within the integrated human-Earth system, including natural, engineered, and socioeconomic systems and sectors. A critical focus of MSD modeling is to explore and advance predictability of stabilities, instabilities, resilience, and feedbacks in the face of changing influences, stressors, and extremes.

Key Model Frameworks for ESS

Ecological and hydro-biogeochemical process data captured by ESS research is helping to improve predictions from various Earth system models. In turn, simulations from these models are helping to identify uncertainties that require further ESS observational and field research. Some of the key Earth system model components for ESS research include:

  • Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM)
  • Model for Prediction Across Scales-Ocean (MPAS-O)
  • MOdel for Scale Adaptive River Transport (MOSART)
  • E3SM Land Model (ELM)
  • MPAS-Sea Ice (MPAS-CICE)
  • MPAS-Land Ice (MPAS-LI)
  • E3SM Atmosphere Model (EAM)
  • Calibrated and Systematic Characterization, Attribution, and Detection of Extremes (CASCADE)
  • Reducing Uncertainty in Biogeochemical Interactions through Synthesis and Computation (RUBISCO)
  • High-Latitude Application and Testing of Earth System Models (HiLAT RASM)
  • Interdisciplinary Research for Arctic Coastal Environments (InteRFACE)
  • Integrated Coastal Modeling (ICoM)
  • Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI)
  • Framework for Improving Analysis and Modeling of Earth System and Intersectoral Dynamics at Regional Scales (HyperFACETS)
  • Water Cycle and Climate Extremes Modeling (WACCEM)