A SciDAC research project
sponsored by the
Department of Energy
Office of Science

Principal Investigator: David A. Randall
Colorado State University

Co-Principal Investigator: Akio Arakawa
University of California at Los Angeles

Last Updated 6/30/11

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This project will develop and test a global cloud resolving model (GCRM), i.e., a global atmospheric circulation model with a grid-cell spacing of approximately 3 km, capable of simulating the circulations associated with large convective clouds.

The GCRM will make use of a geodesic grid, building on methods developed at Colorado State University under SciDAC Phase I. It will use a non-hydrostatic dynamical core, based on finite-volume methods already used in regional modeling by the CSU and UCLA teams. We will propose several innovations in the GCRM's dynamical core, including the choice of the continuous governing equations themselves, the grid structure, and the time-differencing methods. The GCRM will include parameterizations of cloud microphysics, turbulence, and radiation, based on those already in use in regional cloud-resolving models at CSU. It will be coupled to a land-surface model that is currently in use at CSU, and undergoing further development by S. Denning and colleagues.

The GCRM will likely be implemented on a Cray XT3 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and an XT4 and IBM Power 5 system at the Flagship Computing Facility of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The GCRM will be tested in numerical weather prediction, following protocols developed under the DOE-sponsored CAPT project. We will also test the model in free-running simulations of up to about one month in duration. We will then use the GCRM to perform (at least) two annual-cycle simulations. One of these will be coupled to a geodesic ocean general circulation model developed under SciDAC phase 1.

Community Access to Global Cloud Resolving Model and Data is a SciDAC Scientific Application Partnership (SAP) dedicated to providing efficient, flexible access to logical subsets of GCRM produced data as well as selected derived products and visualizations, thus enabling a range of analyses by the broader climate research community.

Video overview presented by the Department of Energy Office of Science.

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Linked here are images generated by this project.