Earth system modelling on the Cray XC50

With the installation of the new Cray XC50 systems in New Zealand, climate scientists are in a great position to conduct world leading ‘earth system’ modelling.

In these models, the atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere and even ocean ecosystems can be numerically simulated simultaneously. This is an essential criterion for reliable future climate projections and to understand impacts which rely on much more than the first order effect of global warming.

The New Zealand community is contributing to these scientific advances, but it is only with the application of supercomputing that we can do so; supercomputers are our laboratories.

In this presentation, we will describe how the models work and will describe in more detail what we are doing which is unique. Examples of the expertise that we bring to multidisciplinary work include atmospheric chemistry (in particular simulating stratospheric ozone) and high resolution, nested ocean modelling over the New Zealand and Antarctic regions.

We will also describe how the New Zealand climate science community is contributing to research projects of national and international importance, such as the Deep South National Science Challenge and the forthcoming 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This work is funded by the New Zealand’s Government’s Deep South National Science Challenge.

References
Williams, J., et al., Development of the New Zealand Earth System Model: NZESM, Weather and Climate, 36, 25-44 (2016).

1. The UK Earth System Modelling project – Development and community release of UKESM1, https://ukesm.ac.uk

2. Earth System Modelling and Prediction, https://www.deepsouthchallenge.co.nz/programmes/earth-system-modelling-and-prediction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Dr Jonny Williams is a computational scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Wellington. Before his move to NIWA in 2015, Jonny was a postdoctoral researcher in extreme climates in of the past and also worked in environmental consultancy (Eunomia Research & Consulting) and at the UK’s national weather and climate agency, The Met Office.

Dr Erik Behrens obtained his PhD at GEOMAR in Kiel (Germany) investigating the oceanic response of an enhanced melting of the Greenland Ice sheet using eddy resolving ocean simulations. He also investigated the spreading of Cs-137 in the Pacific after the Fukushima disaster. At NIWA, he conducts high resolution ocean modelling, including biogeochemistry and particle tracking.

Dr Olaf Morgenstern is a climate and atmospheric scientist. He is leading climate and Earth System modelling for NIWA and the Deep South National Science Challenge. Having obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), he spent 10 years working for Cambridge University (UK) and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (Germany) before joining NIWA in 2008. His speciality is atmospheric composition, but his interests extend to all aspects of the Earth System.

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CC BY 4.0