Testbed Workshop to Improve Climate Models

Published: 2 June 2014

A primary goal of DOE’s Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD) is to expand the predictive ability of regional and global climate models (GCMs). As climate models are developed, testbeds are one set of tools used to understand, evaluate, and identify areas of improvement. A recently completed report summarizes the results of a DOE workshop held last summer to discuss coordination among several testbeds developed for DOE applications.

Held August 5-6, 2013, in Germantown, Maryland, the workshop brought together researchers involved in testbed development as well as two modeling scientists who represented what modelers would like to see in testbeds. Using combined data derived from observations and model simulations, they discussed four separate testbeds:

  • Aerosol Modeling Testbed, a computational framework for the atmospheric sciences community that streamlines testing and evaluation of treatments of aerosol formation, transformation, and removal processes.
  • Cloud-Associated Parameterizations Testbed, a framework utilized to identify the source of climate model problems in the simulations of clouds, precipitation, radiation, and aerosols, and to test new parameterizations of these processes.
  • Climate Science for Sustainable Energy Future, involving a unique modeling framework, namely, the regionally refined Community Atmospheric Model, with high resolution in a small area of GCMs.
  • Fast-Physics System Testbed and Research, a project that aims to produce a web-based, integrated platform that enhances and facilitates utilization of detailed, long-term, high-resolution ARM measurements to evaluate and test parameterizations.

The workshop consisted of discussion sessions focused on overviews of the testbeds; data sets; visualization and analysis software; model frameworks; and coordination opportunities. Concluding the workshop, participants discussed action items such as increased communication among testbed projects, sharing data sets, coordinating with external scientists, and coordinating testbed research activities. In addition, participants identified several high-priority science questions to be addressed in the coming years.

The full report is available on the DOE Biological and Environmental Research News & Resources web page.

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This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, through the Biological and Environmental Research program as part of the Atmospheric System Research program.