U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Advances in High Performance Computing Improve Simulation of Extreme Precipitation Events in a Global Atmosphere Model
Published: October 05, 2009
Posted: November 06, 2009

Recent results generated by DOE-sponsored researcher Michael Wehner of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory demonstrate that simulations of precipitation generated from high resolution Atmospheric General Circulation Models and enabled by contemporary supercomputers produce values of comparable magnitude to high quality observations. However, at the resolutions typical of the coupled general circulation models used in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the precipitation return values are severely underestimated. This study is an important demonstration of how advances at the DOE computing facilities are leading to dramatic improvements in vital aspects of climate change.

Reference: Wehner, M. F., R. L. Smith, G. Bala, P. D. Duffy. 2010. "The Effect of Horizontal Resolution on Simulation of Very Extreme U.S. Precipitation Events in a Global Atmosphere Model," Climate Dynamics 34(2–3), 241–247. DOI 10.1007/s00382-009-0656-y. (Reference link)

Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Cross-Cutting: Scientific Computing and SciDAC

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


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