From the Program Manager, Feb ’24: Entering a Decade of Earth System Modeling

  • February 29, 2024
  • Feature Story,Home Page Feature

    Xujing Davis, ESMD Program Manager, DOE BER

    Xujing Davis, E3SM Program Manager, DOE BER

    Welcome to the 1st newsletter of 2024, an exciting year for E3SM, as the project is approaching its decadal landmark!


    Celebrating a Decade of Earth System Modeling

    The E3SM project started in October 2014 with its name as the Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME). Ten years later, the team has realized its bold exascale vision set at the very beginning. Kudos to all involved!  We are very proud of what the project team has achieved and look forward to celebrating this decade of progress as recapped briefly based on major timelines. As part of the celebration plan, we would like to share some fun facts that you may also enjoy!

    Much of our current successes are attributed to the true team effort, with effective integration of multidisciplinary talents across different areas of earth, environmental, mathematical, computational and software engineering science domains. We greatly value each individual’s contributions. In this issue, we introduce and “listen” to the 19 members on how they contribute and what they enjoy the most as part of the Gordon Bell Prize team.


    Next Generation E3SM Components and their Exascale Readiness

    With the next generation E3SM atmosphere component (i.e., EAMxx) well into its innovative exascale simulations, other component development has made substantial advancements. In recent award-winning paper “Towards Ultrahigh-resolution E3SM Land Modeling on Exascale Computers“, a holistic approach was introduced to the development of the ultrahigh-resolution ELM (uELM) over the DOE Exascale computers, serving as a valuable reference for broad kilometer scale land modeling activities. Please check out the report summarizing the core concepts discussed in the paper and the key milestones in the uELM development over the last few years. In last week’s Ocean Science Meeting, initial progress of the next generation E3SM ocean model, i.e., the Ocean Model for E3SM Global Applications (OMEGA) in C++, was presented to the public the first time, along with other presentations reporting ocean and cryosphere activities.


    Science Progress and highlights

    The water cycle is an important component of the earth system and plays a key role in many facets of society, including energy production, agriculture, and human health and safety. Designed to improve resolution of storm systems simulations critical to addressing DOE mission needs and also contributing to the HighResMIP effort, the high resolution version of E3SMv1 was compared to the low resolution counterpart to test the impact of grid spacing on their simulations of water cycle. The results show a slowdown of the warm season water cycle with increasing resolution, with decreases in precipitation, evapotranspiration, moisture convergence, terrestrial water storage, and runoff. These differences elucidate some of the difficulties in reducing biases in models like E3SM and the importance of continued effort for furthering our understanding of Water Cycle simulations including its sensitivity to intrinsic characteristics of the models beyond resolution.

    Other science highlights include: a study examining the model behavior change in cloud simulations from E3SMv1 to v2 whose understanding has led to improvements in E3SMv3; sensitivity simulations and analysis revealing that improved ocean surface albedo parameterization could be achieved via the inclusion of a comprehensive ocean interior reflectance;  a novel weather system clustering scheme developed using a deep learning model, for the 1st time, disclosing impacts of large-scale climate variabilities on regional weather systems; and a new model developed  in an Early Career Award project allowing more accurate simulations of methane production across complex coastal landscapes.


    Workshops and Reports

    Partially supported by the E3SM project, the 22nd International AeroCom/AeroSAT Workshop explored advances in aerosol research from October 16-20, 2023, in Richland, WA. Aiming to advance aerosol research for climate, weather, and air quality applications, the workshop attracted robust participation from international experts in the modeling and measurement of aerosol processes, with significant presence from E3SM representatives.   

    During almost the same time, the 1st Annual Conference of the US Research Software Engineer Conference (US-RSE) was held in Chicago, IL. “Research Software Engineers” refers to software engineers who write code to support research and for E3SM, they are an essential and invaluable part of the team. Four E3SM team members from three DOE national labs attended the conference and joined the discussions about common software engineering challenges including the cultivation of future generations of workforce in the field.

    The highly anticipated report from a series of National Academies Workshops on Digital Twins was recently published and is available to everyone. The report proposes the definition of a digital twin and emphasizes the key role of verification, validation, and uncertainty quantification (VVUQ) as essential tasks for the responsible development, implementation, monitoring, and sustainability of digital twins across all domains.


    E3SM in AGU and AMS

    AGU and AMS were big successes in regard to the E3SM-related sessions. We greatly appreciate the participation of the DOE Office of Science Director, Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe in the AGU’s E3SM Town Hall, who presented the DOE perspective on the role of E3SM for the DOE mission and science; and the DOE Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences Division (EESSD) Director, Dr. Gary Geerneart, who addressed Earth System Modeling Priorities at the DOE and the Interagency Landscape.

    In the AMS meeting, two E3SM scientists Xiaohong Liu and Yun Qian were honored as AMS Fellows. The fellowship honors are awarded for “outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years.” Congratulations, Xiaohong and Yun, and thanks for your contribution to E3SM!


    Dates to Remember

    Please remember to reserve on your calendar August 6-9th for the hybrid EESM PI meeting, with in person component in the Bethesda North Marriot Hotel & Conference Center. SciDAC team members, please reserve July 16th to 18th for the 2024 SciDAC PI Meeting. More information will be shared when available.    


    Around DOE

    At DOE, we are busy with the planning of PI meetings, review panels, the strategic planning within the EESSD and BER. We are also working with interagency colleagues for the planning of the Annual US Climate Modeling Workshop and Summit. I want to thank all the applicants for their submissions to the Earth System Model and Development Funding Opportunity Announcement and the ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) allocation Program. For both solicitations, applicants have been notified of the decision of their pre-applications.    


    Concluding Remarks

    As the E3SM team develops its new decadal strategic plan to guide future model development activities, I believe, with the strong support of DOE, the team is poised to tackle upcoming challenges and to continuously advance E3SM capabilities for new scientific discoveries and innovations in earth system modeling for DOE actionable science.    

    Thanks for your excellent work and I, like you, am excited by what next ten years will bring and look forward to working with you all into the next decade!



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