0.0 CGD Director's Message

CGD Director Bill Large
CGD Director Bill Large.

The 2016 CGD-Laboratory Annual Report (CGD-LAR) highlights some examples of the exceptional results produced by Laboratory staff during the last fiscal year. This research significantly furthers the CGD mission “to discover the key processes of the Earth’s climate system and to understand the interactions among them; to represent the knowledge in community models that effectively utilize computing advances; and to apply these models and observations to scientific problems of societal relevance. Over the coming year, CGD will focus on producing its contributions to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP-6).   

This CGD-LAR focuses on activities that fall within the two NCAR Imperatives that most align with the CGD Strategic Plan; namely, Imperative 1 – Conduct innovative fundamental research to advance the atmospheric  and related sciences;   Imperative 3 – Develop, deliver and support a suite of advanced community models.  Also included, as an illustration of the breadth of CGD, are activities related to Imperative 5 – Develop and transfer science to meet societal needs. CGD does contribute significantly to Imperative 6 – Educate and entrain a talented and diverse group of students and early career professionals. Related activities such as workshops and tutorials tend to be ongoing and are, therefore, described in the websites of both CGD (http://www2.cgd.ucar.edu) and of the Community Earth System Model, CESM (http://www.cesm.ucar.edu). The correspondence of these CGD NCAR Imperatives to the CGD mission statement is not coincidental, but reflects the central role of CGD within NCAR.

The report of the CGD Advisory Panel (CAP) was perhaps the first of a series of events that have aligned and led to NSF support for an NCAR/CGD request for supplemental funding to implement many of the Panel recommendations concerning CESM component model development, and university involvement. NCAR/CGD now has the funding for three years starting in January 2017. In addition to the Panel report, other stars to align include: consistent remarks in the letter from the CESM Advisory Board (CAB), based on Sumant’s presentation of your CAP report; NSF oceanography’s response in the form of organizing a town hall on ocean modeling at Ocean Sciences 2016; a detailed assessment last November of the impact of diminishing DOE support for the CESM component models from LANL, especially the ocean, sea-ice and land-components;  these components happen to be of interest to divisions of NSF/GEO beyond AGS; and very importantly the interest of NSF program managers from across GEO in advancing these CESM components.

The supplemental will enable replacing the POP ocean component, co-developing the sea-ice model CICE to be consistent with the replacement and state-of-the-art, and configuring the CISM land-ice model for Antarctica in addition to Greenland.  The plan is to have these all three of these components working together as coupled CESM components within three years, so that as CMIP-6 winds down, they are part of foundation from which to develop CESM-3 over the following 2 to 3 years. There are 3-year work plans for each component that will be implemented in association with the three relevant working groups, namely; Ocean Modeling, Polar Climate and Land-Ice. Key to this work will be the hiring of both an ocean modeler and a land-ice modeler supported by the supplemental for the first three years, then by NSF base funding to NCAR.

The supplemental will also support a full complement of 2 full time liaisons for each of the three relevant CESM Working Groups. In keeping with the theme of the CAP meeting, up to one-half the effort of these liaisons will be to engage the university community in the development of the ocean, sea-ice and land-ice models.  Ongoing CAP advice on how best to deploy these resources would be very much appreciated over the three years of the supplemental.  It should be possible to continue the most successful activities beyond the three years of the supplemental funding.