Science Campaigns

The E3SM Project Roadmap, showing the relative sequencing of major simulation campaigns, model version development, and machine deployment addressed in each project phase.

Major Simulation Campaigns

E3SM’s mission-relevant, grand challenge science questions and the simulations envisioned to answer those questions by 2027 drive the project’s strategy. With extensive input from both DOE and external scientific experts, the focus was narrowed at the project’s outset to three critically important Earth-system science drivers that strongly influence, and are influenced by, the energy system:

  • the water cycle,
  • biogeochemistry, and
  • the cryosphere system.

These science drivers integrate the understanding of Earth system processes that is foundational to Earth system prediction. The envisioned grand challenge simulations of the coupled human-Earth system at ultra-high resolution are not yet possible with current model and computing capabilities. Nevertheless, a set of achievable experiments were developed that make major advances toward answering the grand challenge questions using a modeling system for v1 to run on leadership computing architectures available to the project now. Like all research projects, the early results will be used to refine science questions and develop new testable hypotheses to be addressed with subsequent versions of the modeling system.


Each model version is used in a simulation campaign consisting of major simulations to address the science questions of each science driver. As shown in the figure above, E3SM envisions simulation campaigns of four to five years each with successive versions of the modeling system. Every campaign will inform the next, and four campaigns are envisioned, with successive versions of the modeling system leading to the simulations that fully address the overarching science questions in approximately 10 years.


You can find details on current and future simulation campaigns on the following pages:

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