USA - 2023
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
For "The Simple Cloud-Resolving E3SM Atmosphere Model Running on the Frontier Exascale System"Press Release
2023 ACM Gordon Bell Prize for Climate Modelling Awarded to a 19-Member Team
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, presented a nineteen-member team with the inaugural ACM Gordon Bell Prize for Climate Modelling for their project, “The Simple Cloud-Resolving E3SM Atmosphere Model Running on the Frontier Exascale System.” The new award aims to recognize innovative parallel computing contributions toward solving the global climate crisis.
The members of the team are: Mark A. Taylor, Luca Bertagna, Conrad Clevenger, James G. Foucar, Oksana Guba, Benjamin R. Hillman, Andrew G. Salinger (all of Sandia National Laboratories); Peter M. Caldwell, Aaron S. Donahue, Noel Keen, Christopher R. Terai, Renata B. McCoy, David C. Bader (all of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory); Jayesh Krishna, Danqing Wu (both of Argonne National Laboratory); Matthew R. Norman, Sarat Sreepathi (both of Oakridge National Laboratory); James B. White III (Hewlett Packard Enterprise); and L. Ruby Leung (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory).
To develop the most effective carbon emission reduction policies, governments are working with scientists to better understand the relationship between carbon emissions, the earth’s atmosphere, and climate change. Because of the mind-boggling number of variables in understanding climate phenomena (e.g., temperature, humidity, precipitation), scientists have increasingly used powerful supercomputers to process all these variables in order to develop high resolution simulations.
Climate scientists are especially interested in understanding convective clouds (clouds that are formed by the process of warmer air rising above a less dense atmosphere). Deep convective clouds (which can be many kilometers thick) are particularly important to simulate correctly because they drive the tropical overturning circulation and modulate energy transfer over much of the planet.
A class of algorithmic models known as global cloud-resolving models (GCRMs) have been used to attempt to simulate deep convective clouds and have been accurate in certain instances such as providing simulations of short time periods or limited physical areas. But the Prize-winning team notes that the drawbacks of GCRM’s include the fact that running these algorithms on existing supercomputers has been slow and computationally expensive (e.g., the algorithms require too many steps).
The team proves that by using just-introduced exascale supercomputers along with a new algorithmic model they have introduced, the longstanding challenge of developing efficient and accurate simulations of deep convective clouds can be accomplished. The prize-winning team introduces the new algorithmic model, “Simple Cloud Resolving E3SM Atmosphere Model (SCREAM).“
The ACM Gordon Bell Prize for Climate Modelling aims to recognize innovative parallel computing contributions toward solving the global climate crisis. Climate scientists and software engineers are evaluated for the award based on the performance and innovation in their computational methods.