From the Program Manager: February 2021

  • February 23, 2021
  • Feature Story,Home Page Feature
  • Xujing Davis

    Xujing Davis, ESMD Program Manager, DOE BER

    As I write this letter, the E3SM project team is tagging the code for the E3SMv2 Water Cycle low-resolution configuration, marking an important milestone. Thanks to the team’s hard work during the past three years, E3SMv2 includes many exciting improvements over v1 such as a new spectral element nonhydrostatic dynamical core, more accurate representations of physical processes in the atmosphere, ocean and polar regions as well as computational advances for higher efficiency. A brand new machine, Chrysalis, purchased at the end of 2020 has been extensively optimized and configured for the model and is now operational. It is open to all E3SM staff and will be the main machine for the upcoming Water Cycle simulations in the E3SMv2 campaign.

    This newsletter issue also includes selected research highlights targeting key challenges in not only E3SM but also Earth system models (ESMs) in general. A novel two-way coupled irrigation scheme has been developed to improve the representation of irrigation processes in E3SM. Better irrigation representation is critical to evaluating the feasibility and impacts of large-scale bioenergy production. This advancement represents an important step to accurately model the interactions between human water use and the global water system which addresses DOE’s mission. In the case of aerosol parameterizations, (1) complex but computationally efficient algorithms have been formulated which can simulate the chemical sources and sinks of Secondary Organic Aerosol (SOAs) within E3SM, providing a baseline for future research aimed at understanding changes in aerosol-cloud and aerosol-radiation interactions, (2) the comparison between different ESMs and observations suggests the biomass burning aerosols in most climate models are too absorbing, (3) researchers have elucidated that rainfall intensity has profound impacts on aerosol burden and therefore its interaction with climate.

    Integrating knowledge from multiple program areas has led to fruitful outcomes. The upcoming E3SM-Diags new release (v2.4.0) incorporates ARM-Diags, allowing users to routinely test E3SM output against the invaluable ARM observations. A SciDAC project supported by the BER and ASCR partnership suggests careful mathematical choices can help speed up error reductions in numerical simulations. An analysis of E3SMv1.1-BGC simulations (supported by ESMD/E3SM and RGMA/RUBISCO) investigates controls on sea-ice algal production and evaluates the published estimate of the Arctic sea ice primary production. To facilitate cross-program activities, the #e3sm-help Slack channel is available to all DOE/EESSD funded project PIs (and their teams) who work with E3SM to ask questions as they are running the E3SM model. There is also an #e3sm-help-postproc channel for questions about the analysis tools.

    On the international front, parallel ESM efforts toward high resolution and GPU porting are summarized from the keynote presentations at the ESMD-E3SM PI meeting. E3SM has been actively participating in international modeling activities by contributing simulations to (1) the DYAMOND Initiative for the intercomparison of global storm-resolving models and (2) a study of the effects of COVID-19-related reductions in energy consumption and associated emissions on climate.

    Please join me in welcoming Dr. Jennifer A. Holm as a new Deputy Group Leader for the E3SM BGC Core Group. Jennifer brings extensive land model development and diagnostic experience to the E3SM BGC Group and is a great addition to the existing team comprised of Drs. Kate Calvin and Susannah Burrows.

    I would like to acknowledge Dr. Cristiana Stan, who has finished her IPA assignment and returned to George Mason University, for her valuable contribution to the newsletters and ESMD-E3SM PI meeting during the past six months at DOE.

    In addition to enjoying the articles from this issue, you can find recent progress presented via the E3SM All-Hands Webinars. Please also keep an eye on the development of the EESSD ML4ESP White Paper Call.

    Thanks for reading the E3SM newsletter; stay tuned for more exciting E3SM news in the future!


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