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DOE Presents INCITE Supercomputer Awards to 5 Climate Change Research Projects

Five of the 45 projects awarded 2007 INCITE (Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment) Awards by the Department of Energy (DOE) are using the supercomputer time provided to explore different aspects of climate change.

The DOE launched the INCITE program in 2003 to seek out computationally intensive, large-scale research projects with the potential to significantly advance key areas in science and engineering. The program encourages proposals from universities, other research institutions and industry. For 2007, DOE awarded a total of 95 million hours of processor time.

The five projects are led by the National Center for Climatic Research (NCAR), the University of Colorado, the University of Chicago, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The ambitious NCAR project receives a total of 5.5 million processor hours on two supercomputers (Cray X1E and XT3) to predict future climates based on scenarios of anthropogenic emissions and other changes resulting from options in energy policies.

This proposal builds on the successful collaboration of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Energy (DOE) in developing the Community Climate System Model (CCSM3), and is expanded to include collaborations with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and additional university partners with expertise in high-end computational climate research.

The University of Colorado Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences Climate Diagnostics Center and NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory received 2 million hours from the NERSC HPC at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This project is to produce a global tropospheric circulation dataset at four-times daily resolution back to 1892. The timely production of the proposed global tropospheric circulation dataset will provide an important validation check on the climate models being used to make 21st century climate projections in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) due in late 2007.

The ASC/Alliance Flash Center at the University of Chicago received 3 million processor hours on a Cray XT3 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The U of C project is to complete the first-ever centennial-scale eddy-resolving global ocean simulation, incorporating a suite of tracer experiments designed to yield fundamental information on timescales and mechanisms of transport in the ocean. Among the questions this project seeks to answer is whether or not current estimates of ocean uptake of radiatively important anthropogenic trace gases (such as carbon dioxide) are biased by an incomplete representation of ocean eddy transports.

The University of Alaska project receives 600,000 processor hours on IBM Blue Gene/L at Argonne National Laboratory to investigate fundamental aspects of terrestrial carbon cycle dynamics to obtain a better understanding of fundamental processes related to climate change and their dynamic interactions.

These simulations are to provide an understanding of how anthropogenic disturbances interact with other disturbances and ecological dynamics.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison receives 420,000 processor hours on a Cray X1E at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The primary goal of this project is to perform the first synchronously coupled transient ocean/atmosphere/dynamic vegetation general circulation model simulation of the past 21,000 years using the NCAR Community Climate System Model (CCSM3).

This experiment will addresses two fundamental questions on future climate changes: “What is the sensitivity of the climate system to the change of greenhouse gases, notably CO2?” and “How does the climate system exhibit abrupt changes on decadal-centennial time scales?”




processor hours = (# of processor) x (time used to run application/equation/simulation)

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