Climate change work wins supercomputer time

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By Roger Snodgrass

One of the largest allocations of supercomputer time under a Department of Energy program will go to a multi-lab project on climate change that includes Phil Jones, a team leader in the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s theoretical division. The project, titled, “Climate-science Computational End Station Development and Grand Challenge Team,” is headed by Warren Washington of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, with co-investigators from five DOE laboratories, along with NASA and Georgia Tech University.The award bestows a total of 18,026,000 processor-hours on three DOE high performance supercomputers to help improve climate models.“We’re trying to put together a very high-resolution climate model – with very high-resolution ocean and ice and high-resolution atmosphere – in collaboration with folks at a number of other laboratories,” said Jones in an interview Friday.The last assessment for the International Panel on Climate Change used a 100-kilometer grid for ocean measurements. Jones said the high-resolution model would be 10 kilometers. The resolution in the atmosphere would fall from 100 kilometers to 50.“When you get down to 10 kilometers in the ocean, you start resolving eddies, the swirls around the Gulf Stream, which would be a fundamental improvement,” he said.

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