Reflections from the 2022 Land Surface Modeling Summit at Oxford University

  • November 23, 2022
  • Blog
  • LSMS_2022

    Land and Earth System models are increasingly being asked to provide information on societally-relevant impacts and adaptation associated with climate and environmental change. Development of these models is however frequently impeded by a range of technical challenges and scientific uncertainties. At the Land Surface Modeling Summit (LSMS), held in Oxford, UK from 12-15 September 2022, participants from across the community came together for extended discussions on development priorities and challenges. Three E3SM team members attended the Land Surface Modeling Summit: Ben Bond-Lamberty, Jennifer Holm, and Gautam Bisht.

    An overarching goal of the LSMS was to plan how the land modeling community can work together to build the next-generation land models needed to address the pressing scientific and societal questions of the 21st century. The aim was to collectively produce a Road Map to address the ever increasing challenges required to improve and develop land models so that they are fit for purpose; this Road Map will be designed for modeling groups and their collaborative partners to solicit funding to support these development activities and to help build a community effort to accelerate progress in land modeling.

    The LSMS was engaging, with strong enthusiasm to carry momentum forward to advance land models to address the critical challenges facing our planet. Talks and breakout groups used collaborative digital whiteboards (Mural) to focus on the effectiveness of land-based natural climate solutions and vegetation demographics in land models; brainstorm how to improve the representation of land-atmosphere interactions; discuss the promise and pitfalls machine learning approaches; and plan for developing and sharing input and forcing datasets. A major conclusion of the LSMS was that a forum to share and pursue improvements is needed to bring the modeling community together to address these challenges.

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