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NERSC Initiative for Scientific Exploration (NISE) 2010 Awards

Developing an Ocean-Atmosphere Reanalysis for Climate Applications (OARCA) for the period 1850 to present

Gil Compo, University of Colorado at Boulder

Associated NERSC Project: Surface Input Reanalysis for Climate Applications (SIRCA) 1850 - 2011 (m958), Principal Investigator: Gil Compo

NISE Award: 2,000,000 Hours
Award Date: April 2010

By determining the strength of the variations in the atmosphere and ocean during the strong 1918/1919 El Nino event, we will have a dataset that can be used to study the event and its devastating socio-economic impacts (such as a severe famine in India) and to compare with coupled climate model representations of El Nino during the early 20th century. Importantly, with this development project, we will have determined whether the computationally-costly coupled ocean-atmosphere assimilation can be expected to improve our ability to determine the historical weather and climate variations from the 19th to 21st centuries. A complete record of these variations is an essential dataset for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the next-generation of coupled climate models being used to project the effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions for the upcoming Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5).