From the Program Manager, Aug ’23: E3SM a finalist in the Gordon Bell Prize Competition

  • August 30, 2023
  • Feature Story,Home Page Feature

    Xujing Davis, ESMD Program Manager, DOE BER

    Xujing Davis, E3SM Program Manager, DOE BER

    I hope you all have had some time to relax during this summer. For E3SM, it has been a fruitful and eventful few months.



    The first exciting news is that E3SM’s landmark performance on Exascale supercomputer Frontier has earned it a spot as a finalist for the prestigious international Gordon Bell Prize for Climate Modeling. Since then, E3SM has made even further improvement over its previous record performance by surpassing the barrier of 1 simulated year per day (SYPD) for the full model and 1.5 SYPD for the atmosphere (~3km global)!

    The overview paper for E3SMv2’s North American Regionally Refined Model (NARRM) configuration has been published, establishing E3SM as the first-of-its-kind, global fully coupled model with RRM implemented in all components (except river), that completed climate production simulations.

    To facilitate the broad use of advanced features from the Simple Convection-Permitting E3SM Atmosphere Model (SCREAM), a doubly-periodic SCREAM (DP-SCREAM) has been developed, evaluated, and documented. This makes running the SCREAM code base at convection permitting resolutions accessible to all users. Further, the evaluation results demonstrated that SCREAM performs as a scale-aware model and its resolution can be altered either globally or regionally (using RRM) without modifying existing parameterizations.

    Congratulations on these exciting achievements!



    The 2023 E3SM All Hands Meeting in Colorado in June was joined by over 150 scientists from E3SM and its ecosystem projects. Everyone including myself was overjoyed by the first opportunity to unite again after 3 years. It was the first chance for me to meet many of you and to thank you in person for your amazing talent and work. It was my great pleasure to present E3SM Outstanding Contribution Awards to team members who made exceptional contributions to the critical but less visible aspects of E3SM model development.

    I also want to thank the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory logistics team (Renata McCoy, Angela Jefferson, Cheryll Nunez, and Jenella Presley) who worked beyond normal hours to tackle all the technical challenges of the hybrid format meeting and made it such a success.  

    As E3SM km scale modeling capability progresses, its connection to ARM and ASR research becomes ever more important. In the August ARM/ASR PI meeting, there were dedicated sessions highlighting ARM/ASR and E3SM connections including the use of the E3SM Single Column Model (SCM), DP-SCREAM, and potentially E3SM-RRM.   



    To keep up with the support of future E3SM development, several software packages have been created and upgraded including a new Chemistry Diagnostic Package (ChemDyg), Polaris (successor to COMPASS and MPAS-Analysis), and an upgraded E3SM-Unified 1.9.0 environment. Based on previous successes, Los Alamos National Laboratory held another hackathon, to introduce new developers to Polaris, a major tool for regression testing and analysis for current and next-generation ocean, sea ice, and land ice model components.


    Science Highlights

    The science highlights include the advancements with the use of machine learning (ML) approaches such as 1) a physics-informed deep learning method for downscaling a large-scale river model to better simulate river flooding; 2) randomly constructed neural networks representing light interacting with atmospheric aerosols accurately with computational efficiency; and 3) an index developed based on ML approach enhancing predictability of Southern California precipitation on sub-seasonal to seasonal time scales. Other highlighted results demonstrate 1) improved representation of Southern Ocean tides via the inclusion of ice shelf cavities in the MPAS-Ocean variable resolution configuration; 2) more credible representation of ENSO teleconnections to extremes in high-resolution Earth system Models including E3SMv1 and E3SMv2; and 3) a diagnostic tool in successful detecting and addressing issues of numerical discretization in nonlinear representations of turbulence and clouds.   


    Around DOE

    At DOE, BER management is still under transition while a search for a permanent Associate Director (AD) is underway. Dr. Todd Anderson is currently serving as the acting AD of BER and Dr. Gary Geernaert returned to EESSD as division director. EESSD welcomed the addition of Dr. Gil Bohrer as a Program Manager of the Environmental System Science (ESS) program. Dr. Jennifer Arrigo departed ESS and moved to a new position at DOE Office of the Undersecretary for Science and Innovation.

    During September 12-14th, a hybrid SciDAC-5 Project PI meeting will be held in person and online. While in-person participation is limited and needs approval, the plenary session is open to everyone for registration, please check out details here.

    I want to congratulate new awardees of projects focused on E3SM. I would also like to thank all the applicants, particularly the early career researchers, for their innovative ideas and high-quality submissions for E3SM advancements. The competition was exceptionally high, please do not be discouraged if you were not selected for an award this time, and remain interested in and keep an eye on upcoming funding opportunities.


    Thanks for staying updated with E3SM news, and best wishes for a great start to the fall,


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