From the Program Manager, Nov ’22: Evolving E3SM and its Ecosystem

  • November 29, 2022
  • Feature Story,Home Page Feature

    Xujing Davis, ESMD Program Manager, DOE BER

    Xujing Davis, E3SM Program Manager, DOE BER

    Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving holiday break and are having a great start of the fall!

    New Phase of the E3SM and its ecosystem

    As we enter the fiscal year of 2023, the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) project and its ecosystem of closely related projects are evolving into a new phase.

    E3SM Phase 3 proposal under review

    E3SM team is wrapping up its Phase 2 (second funding phase) activities such as documenting the features of E3SM model version 2 in newly published E3SMv2 Overview Paper. Another major effort has been on the preparation of the Phase 3 proposal and the review. The Review consisted of the intense and productive three consecutive days with review panel, during which E3SM team received many enlightening questions and constructive comments from reviewers. I would like to thank all the reviewers for their time in reviewing the proposal (which is complex for the project scope and size) and their expert evaluation and input, which serve as an essential basis for DOE to guide E3SM’s next phase and future path. I also want to thank E3SM leadership and team members who contributed to this review process by highlighting the achievements of the E3SM, addressing the priority areas to improve, and developing future vision and strategies.  

    SciDAC-5 kick off and its new management

    Over the past few months, a series of new Biological and Environmental Research (BER) awards have been announced including E3SM focused SciDAC-5 awards and Earth System Model Development and Analysis awards. As SciDAC-5 projects kicks off, the SciDAC program management is experiencing a transition with the retirement of Dr. Randall Laviolette. The BER-ASCR partnership has enabled the incorporation of many innovative methods, tools and algorithms from mathematical and computational domains into E3SM, accelerating E3SM’s progress. The new tracer transport method Islet, enabling the speedup of E3SM Atmosphere Model tracer transport up to 8 times, is a great example of this valuable partnership. I want to thank Randall for his decade long service in this important role and particularly for his steadfast support for E3SM and its predecessor ACME. We also welcome Dr. Lali Chatterjee back at SciDAC program where she resumes her role as SciDAC Program Manager, the position she held a decade ago.  

    Notably, the SciDAC-5 Coordination Committee was formed with goals to coordinate interactions between SciDAC-5 Institutes and Partnerships, assess emerging needs across SciDAC-5 projects and act as junction point for SciDAC-5, ASCR facilities and broader DOE computational science community. E3SM team lead Dr. Sarat Sreepathi serves as BER representative in replacement of Dr. Kate Evens in SciDAC-4. I thank Kate for her excellent work in identifying and communicating BER SciDAC needs and Sarat in advance for his service over the next 5 years.  

    Evolving coastal projects and new Early Career Funding Opportunity in coastal-urban modeling

    Currently, all three coastal projects (InteRFACE, ICoM and COMPASS-Great Lakes Modeling) supported by Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling Program (EESM) are developing their research plan for the next phase. In August and September, InteRFACE and ICoM held their first All-Hands meetings since COVID. The COMPASS-Great Lakes Modeling project has recently purchased its new computer also called COMPASS, which is available to not only COMPASS project but also other coastal projects supported by Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences Division (EESSD).

    Additionally, EESM is seeking applications via newly released DOE Early Career opportunities in the coastal-urban system. All these ongoing and future coastal efforts will work independently and collectively with each other and other EESM supported research activities such as E3SM to address modeling gaps in simulating rapidly changing and interactive mutilscale coastal environment. The model development components of these coastal activities are expected to produce exciting capabilities for E3SM to integrate into the future.

    DOE’s action on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibiliy

    DOE is committed to making Science More Equitable and Inclusive. Last month, DOE launched Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Research (PIER) Plans that will be implemented in all new Office of Science Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs), DOE National Lab Announcements and other funding solicitations. On a related note, BER recently announced Urban IFL awards to investigate the Impact of Climate Change on America’s Urban Communities, the RDPP awards to enable the partnership between underrepresented institutions and DOE National laboratories.

    The transition of E3SM to Phase 3 and evolvement of its ecosystem projects offer a great opportunity for close collaboration and coordination to leverage from each other in addressing knowledge gaps that would not be possible otherwise. I call for E3SM science members to not only work closely with relevant new ecosystem research projects, but also to be mindful and think creatively to build more equitable and inclusive research environment (for example by coordinating with new awards from these kind of efforts, when appropriate).


    Science Highlights 

    E3SM and its ecosystem projects have made progress in identifying key physical processes that need to be better represented in earth system models. These include studies to understand how algorithms for simulating water transport in plants affect vegetation modeling, how atmosphere responds to land surface diversity and in which way the bedrock uplift affects Thwaites Glacier Retreat.

    E3SM team also developed Ekea framework, which provides an important capability for E3SM developers by introducing automation in the process of kernel extraction.  Built on earlier success, Los Alamos National Laboratory hosted another hackathon on MPAS-Analysis in September prioritizing tasks on the analysis of the Arctic ocean, sea ice and Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).


    E3SM participation in national and international discussion of actionable science

    With the earth and environmental system variability and change, enabling the actionable science to address societally critical need has been a hot topic of discussion in recent Land Surface Modeling Summit, West Antarctic Ice Sheet Workshop as well as the ICAMS Fire Workshop. E3SM has participated in and contributed to all these community efforts.


    News from DOE Biological and Environmental Research (BER)

    BER management is still under transition while a search for a permanent Associate Director (AD) is underway; since November, Dr. Gary Geernaert has returned to EESSD as division director while Dr. Todd Anderson took over the role as the acting AD of BER . Similarly, Dr. Dan Stover returned to Environmental System Science Program (ESS) from acting as EESSD director. We thank them all for keeping BER on track and going strong during this time!

    EESSD also welcomed two new additions whom E3SM community is familiar with: Drs. Beth Drewniak and Scott Collis from Argonne National Laboratory joined the ESS program as detailees.

    The major results from the extensive EESSD AI4ESP workshop have been summarized in recently released AI4ESP Report. The report documents the views from the science community when it comes to AI in Earth System Predictability and highlights multiple overarching themes with common challenges, needs, and opportunities, expressed across many AI4ESP workshop sessions. The report also includes a roadmap on how to execute AI4ESP activities on different time frames.

    In October, I chaired the annual CICE Consortium Sponsors Group Meeting. All agency representatives (from DOE, NSF, NOAA, NASA, ONR, Danish Meteorological Institute, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences) attended this annual event despite different time zones. Sponsors listened to the update from the Consortium lead Dr. Elizabeth Hunke. The update featured many new exciting progresses (e.g., C-grid modeling capability for effective ice-ocean coupling) benefiting numerous modeling centers across the world. Sponsors uniformly expressed their continued interest and enthusiastic support of CICE. Thanks to Elizabeth Hunke’s long term, excellent leadership! 


    E3SM Publicity and in AGU

    E3SM has received much publicity in media and press including the interesting EOS article published last week “Are We Entering The Golden Age Of Climate Modeling?”.

    In less than 2 weeks, E3SM team will join the broad geophysical science community in the upcoming AGU fall meeting where 92 E3SM-related presentations and posters will be presented. You can find more EESM supported AGU presentations on BER website. You may also want to check EESSD related town halls such as the Interagency AI4ESP townhall. Please remember to check out the newly developed E3SM Virtual Backgrounds and New PPTX Templates for your meetings and presentations.

    I look forward to “seeing“ many of you at AGU sessions. Thanks to E3SM members for another year of great work, and to all of you for your interest in and support of E3SM and earth system modeling effort!


    Happy holidays to you and your family,


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