institutionally dedicated resources and the NCCF. The hierarchy of models needed for climate modeling (discussed in Chapter 3) is mirrored by the hierarchy of computational capabilities necessary to take full advantage of those models.
Finding 13.5: The committee believes that the potential benefits of a move to a single U.S. climate modeling center are currently outweighed by the risks.
Although it is difficult to objectively assess how many modeling efforts are now optimal in the United States, it is likely that adoption of the strategies recommended by the committee could make U.S. climate modeling efforts more integrated and transparent. These actions should lead to convergence among some modeling components that are most mature, while maintaining diversity and competitive innovation among those key components that have the greatest scientific uncertainty. With U.S. climate modeling efforts more tightly integrated, different centers may begin to collaborate by specializing on different aspects of the climate modeling problem, acting as a distributed network that ultimately is stronger and more robust than an individual climate modeling center could be.
Recommendation 13.1: To promote communication and collaboration across the climate modeling enterprise, annual U.S. climate modeling forums should be organized to bring together scientists from the global and regional modeling efforts across the United States, scientists from other institutions that are involved in model development and analysis, and model users.
Recommendation 13.2: Model intercomparison activities are key to advancing climate models, and one activity at the climate modeling forum should be discussion and planning of carefully designed suites of simulations to compare the behavior of U.S. climate models with each other and with observational benchmarks. Regional climate models are a particularly pressing focus for this activity. Such simulations could take advantage of a shared software infrastructure to facilitate comparisons, including on a component basis.
Recommendation 13.3: In order to advance climate modeling in the United States in the next 10-20 years, the United States should invest in initiatives that enable the climate modeling community to exploit extreme-scale computing capabilities through the development of new and common software architectures that can be shared across modeling centers and thus spur a national effort to push the computational frontiers of climate science.