throughout this report (Box 14.1) represent stepping stones to a larger strategy, one that emphasizes an evolutionary change in U.S. climate modeling institutions away from developing multiple completely independent models toward a collaborative approach in which different groups pursue different niches or methodologies where scientifically justified. The recommendations in this box are not prioritized or weighted. This chapter attempts to summarize these recommendations into a larger strategy, then gives an outlook of the national capability for climate modeling is 10-20 years if this strategy is followed.

ELEMENTS OF A NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR ADVANCING CLIMATE MODELING

The two principles underlying the committee’s vision for U.S. climate modeling a decade hence are that

•  U.S. climate modeling groups need to work together more closely, while fully engaging the user, academic, and international communities; and

•  taking full advantage of exascale computing will be critical to progress on both longstanding and new climate science frontiers.

As a critical step toward more useful climate models, the committee envisions an evolutionary change in U.S. climate modeling institutions away from developing multiple completely independent models toward a collaborative approach. A collaborative approach does not mean only one center of modeling; rather it means that different groups pursue different niches or methodologies where scientifically justified, but within a single common modeling framework. An overarching thread of the committee’s vision is to promote unification of the decentralized U.S. climate modeling enterprise—across modeling efforts, across a hierarchy of model types, across modeling communities focused on different space and time scales, and across model developers and model output users.

The committee recommends a national strategy for advancing the climate modeling enterprise in the next two decades, consisting of four main new components and five supporting elements that, while less novel, are equally important (Figure 14.1). The nation should

1.  Evolve to a common national software infrastructure that supports a diverse hierarchy of different models for different purposes, and which supports a vigorous research program aimed at improving the performance of climate models on extreme-scale computing architectures (Recommendations 10.1, 10.2, and 3.2);



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