NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery for 50 Years

NERSC to Share Major Grant for Climate Model Research

May 15, 2000

DOE's Climate Change Prediction Program (CCPP, formerly CHAMMP) has awarded $3 million over 18 months to a multi-agency, multi-laboratory collaboration that aims to develop a modular, performance-portable Climate System Model. NERSC will receive $540,000 of that total.

Led by Ian Foster of Argonne National Laboratory, the collaboration includes NERSC's Chris Ding and nine other co-investigators from Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, Argonne, and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

NCAR scientists are working to merge two of the world's most advanced computer climate models, the Climate System Model (CSM) and the Parallel Climate Model (PCM). CSM achieves high performance on parallel vector computers, but was not designed to exploit scalable parallel architectures, and will not scale beyond 64 processors. PCM, developed with DOE support, was designed specifically for parallel systems. The merged CSM-2 will include the best features of both models.

The new R&D work will enable "plug and play" substitution of important modules, making it easier for scientists to improve individual components, and will develop a next-generation "coupler," the top-level model that organizes all the sub-models such as atmosphere, ocean, and sea ice. The result will be a model that performs well on a variety of computer architectures, producing more detailed results in less time.

NERSC has two tasks: to optimize input/output and to optimize the code for IBM SP and distributed scalable memory architectures. Helen He and a not-yet-hired researcher will work with Chris on the project. Chris hopes that climate model development will be a long-term growth area for NERSC, since there's more work than can be done in 18 months. Even more important, with the code optimized for the IBM SP, NERSC could play an even larger role as one of the main facilities for running climate models.



About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, NERSC serves almost 10,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in climate, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.