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Supercomputer project sharpens climate simulations

Posted: 01 Aug 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:supercomputer? Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory? National Energy Research Supercomputer Center? simulation?

A supercomputer collaboration between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Department of Energy's National Energy Research Supercomputer Center has achieved a new level of climate simulation characterized by high resolution over long periods of time.

The new capability, which involves several supercomputers, appears to be better at predicting regional weather patterns than previous simulations, researchers said. Previous climate simulations have had a granularity of about 180 miles, but by adding 32 times as many grid cells and using 200 times more processing power, the new simulations have a resolution of about 30 miles.

While some simulations have achieved that level of resolution for short periodsa few daysthe Livermore experiment simulated weather over years. The results showed a much higher capability to predict weather patterns over regions, such as states.

In particular, the project compared the prediction of climate change in California as a result of greenhouse-gas emissions and found significant differences in the predictions of the coarse-grained simulations and the 30 mile level of resolution. The higher-resolution model also fared better when predictions were compared with actual weather data.

Chappell Brown

EE Times





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