E3SM Phase 3 Organizational Realignment

  • February 28, 2023
  • Feature Story,Home Page Feature
  • A New E3SM Alignment

    The E3SM project’s functional organization is realigning to better address the Nation’s strategic challenges. This new organization was presented in a recent review to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program. This new alignment refocuses the project on actionable projections to achieve its long-term goal of producing actionable science simulation with a state-of-the-art Earth system model executing on Office of Science Exascale Computing systems.

    BER Accepted E3SM Phase 3 Proposal

    As the E3SM project’s second phase (second 3-year funding period) was ending, it prepared and presented to the DOE BER a proposal for Phase 3 funding (check the internal link to the proposal) with a renewed 10-year vision, and 3-year goals, roadmaps and planned deliverables. The proposal submission was then followed by the BER-led external panel review.

    In the acceptance letter, in response to the Review, the BER stated that “Both the reviewers and BER appreciate the well-organized proposal, presentations, and effort in addressing reviewers’ questions” and that “overall, BER program managers and the reviewers were very impressed with the project achievements during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project. Reviewers remarked that E3SM has gone from almost scratch into a serious scientific effort in less than 10 years; and during Phase 2, the E3SM project transitioned successfully into a distinct, unique modeling effort whose prominence is growing and matured considerably. It now stands poised to push the frontiers of actionable climate science. Reviewers thought the project brought together a group of world-class scientists with expertise in computational techniques, next-generation computer resources, and climate modeling, unique to the DOE National laboratories and E3SM is uniquely positioned for international groundbreaking leadership in computationally advanced Earth system modeling. Reviewers opined that E3SM is an ambitious project with high risk and high reward components, effective management, and demonstrated success in developing novel computational algorithms and numerical methods for Earth system models, which has significantly contributed to the climate modeling community.” The proposal was accepted pending response to some questions posed by the review committee, which E3SM project recently addressed. E3SM team will also take many constructive comments from the reviewers into consideration during phase 3 implementation.

    Transitioning to Phase 3 Project Structure

    To align the science drivers more explicitly with the goal of actionable modeling and projections of Earth system variability and change, while maintaining the foundational science on which they depend, the project has redefined the new drivers as: (1) Water Cycle Changes and Impacts; (2) Human-Earth System Feedbacks; and (3) Polar Processes, Sea Level Rise, and Coastal Impacts. These new, more explicit drivers highlight specific aspects of the Earth system that connect the E3SM model development and simulation campaigns to challenges facing our Nation and DOE. 

    To better align and refocus the project with these science drivers, the science simulation campaign groups were renamed. The Water Cycle group will more accurately be now named “Water Cycle Changes and Impacts”, the BGC group focusing on human-earth interactions will be now called “Human-Earth System Feedbacks” and the Cryosphere will refocus as “Polar Processes, Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Impacts”.

    Functional Organization of E3SM’s Phase 3 project.

    Figure 1. Functional Organization of E3SM’s Phase 3 project.

    The project’s organization is further maturing to support parallel tracks to develop and release E3SM version v3 in 2023 and v4 in 2026. The project evolved to operate in this mode during Phase 2, with significant overlap between the Science groups, responsible for model integration, simulation execution, and analysis, and the Next-Generation Development subprojects, organized mostly around components. As shown in Figure 1 there will be ten groups in Phase 3, the same number as in Phase 2. The atmosphere component has two tightly coupled groups to provide overlap and continuity between the current and near-term component code versions (Atmosphere-EAMv3) and the longer-term, refactored performance portable versions (EAMxx) designed for Exascale machines. The Ocean component group will focus on the improvements to the MPAS-Ocean model (for E3SM v3) as well as on the development of a new, C++ and YAKL based performance portable, Ocean Model for E3SM Global Applications (OMEGA). This group will be named Omega.

    The responsibility for the core model integration and tuning was separated from the Phase 2 Water Cycle group to create the Coupled System group. Its role will be to integrate the components for each new full model release and perform the evaluation simulations defined in the DECK (Diagnostic, Evaluation, and Characterization of Klima) and CMIP historical simulations (1850 – near-present) protocols. Science Simulation groups will concentrate on executing, analyzing, and publishing results from the simulation campaigns to address science questions.

    The Infrastructure group will become the Infrastructure, Performance, and Data group, and its members will have the responsibilities for maintaining and extending the project’s software system, associated scripts, analysis software, and management, as well as curation and distribution of production simulation output. They will test and apply optimal, machine-specific configurations for the simulation campaigns and solve problems associated with changes in the software stacks (compilers, libraries, I/O systems, etc.) at the Office of Science computing centers. The Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI) Coordinator will provide a forum to share experiences among the ML/AI Epics in the project as well as serve as the project’s ML/AI external representative. Similarly, there is a cross-cutting Performance Coordinator to coordinate the performance effort across all groups.

    Lastly, the Executive Committee (Exec), comprised of the Council Chair (CC, and project Principal Investigator), the Chief Scientist (CS), the Chief Computational Scientist (CCS), and the Project Engineer (PE) / Chief Operating Officer (COO), selected by the Program Manager in consultation with the DOE Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences Division Director, are not changing.

    E3SM Phase 3 Leadership Team

    Executive Committee (C-Suite)

    • Dave Bader, Chair;
    • Ruby Leung, Chief Scientist;
    • Mark Taylor, Chief Computational Scientist,
    • Renata McCoy, Project Engineer and Chief Operating Officer

    Leaders and Deputies for Each Group

    • Human-Earth System Feedbacks: Leader Ben Bond-Lamberty; Deputies Jennifer Holm and Nicole Jeffery
    • Polar Processes, Sea-Level Rise, and Coastal Impacts: Leader Stephen Price; Deputy Andrew Roberts
    • Water Cycle Changes and Impacts: Leader Bryce Harrop; Deputy Claudia Tebaldi
    • Infrastructure, Performance and Data: Leader Robert Jacob; Deputies Chengzhu (Jill) Zhang and Sarat Sreepathi
    • Coupled model: Leader Chris Golaz; Deputy Wuyin Lin
    • Atmosphere: Leader Shaocheng Xie; Deputy Susannah Burrows
    • EAMxx: Leader Peter Caldwell; Deputy Susannah Burrows
    • Omega: Leader: Luke Van Roekel; Deputies Steven Brus, Mark Petersen, Philip Jones
    • Ice: Leader Elizabeth Hunke; Deputy Darin Comeau
    • Land: Leader Peter Thornton; Deputy Gautam Bisht
    • Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence Coordinator: Andrew Salinger
    • Performance Coordinator: Sarat Sreepathi
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