Environmental Science Division (EVS)a Division of Argonne National Laboratory

EVS researchers use computationally intense climate models to help utilities and others plan for extreme weather events

May 29, 2018

In response to the need for utility companies and others to plan for an increase in extreme weather events, Argonne is in the midst of an initiative called Climate Data for Decision Making. Organized by Argonne's Science & Technology Partnership and Outreach directorate (STPO), the 2017 one-year pilot worked with energy providers and others to generate climate models of varying time scales, geographical areas and complexities to assess flooding, wildfires, drought and other climate-driven threats.

At the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a DOE Office of Science user facility, EVS climate modelers are collaborating with computer scientists to slice the world into a three-dimensional grid and estimate climate conditions in each chunk for years into the future. Generating these models is computationally intense, progressively translating into finer grid slices over shorter time spans. The finer the resolution, the more accurate the predictions about climate effects in a given location, in general.

The most accurate simulations are run on supercomputers, such as the ALCF's Mira, which “allows us to run climate models with cutting-edge spatial and temporal resolution,” says Yan Feng, an EVS climate scientist and an initiative co-lead.

Read the full article on the DEIXIS website.

Temperature (K) predictions from 10-year high-resolution regional climate models Argonne conducted for a fire-risk mapping project. The outermost domain (D1) has a spatial resolution of 18 kilometers. The two inner domains have resolutions of 6 kilometers (D2) and 2 kilometers (D3), respectively.
Temperature (K) predictions from 10-year high-resolution regional climate models Argonne conducted for a fire-risk mapping project. The outermost domain (D1) has a spatial resolution of 18 kilometers. The two inner domains have resolutions of 6 kilometers (D2) and 2 kilometers (D3), respectively. [Source: Argonne National Laboratory]
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portrait of Yan Feng