Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: Facilitating Arctic System Science using the Community Earth System Model (Award# 1417642)

PI: Holland, Marika (
Phone: (303) 497.1734 
Institute/Department: National Center for Atmospheric Research, Atmospheric Chemistry Division 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ARCSS
Program Manager: Dr. Neil Swanberg (
Discipline(s): | Meteorology and Climate |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
Earth System Models are one of the key tools for understanding how Earth's climate will change over the coming years and decades, but the complexity and inaccessibility of existing earth system models are a barrier to their widespread use. Unlike other efforts, the Community Earth System Model (CESM) source code and output are freely available through supported public releases and the broad science community is encouraged to participate in model development, analysis, and experimental design. This project will facilitate broad community involvement in CESM specifically for Arctic science applications by providing support for a polar science liaison. The proposed liaison activities target all types of scientists, including those new to earth system model research that require one-on-one assistance. The liaison activities supported under this project will have three primary foci: 1) Engaging and expanding the CESM polar science research community through hosted visits, focused meetings, and collaborative activities, 2) Providing direct support to Arctic scientists in the use, analysis, and development of CESM, and 3) Supporting and making available Arctic science related applications of CESM. The project will educate interested scientists in model specifics, the configurations available to address particular research questions, and information on CESM experimental design. Polar climate diagnostic tools will be developed and made available to enable easy analysis of CESM integrations. Experiments, designed by the community to address aspects of understanding Arctic change, will be performed and made available through a web portal with links to data and diagnostic plots. Outreach through interactions with the general public, the media, and the NCAR Education and Outreach office will allow the activities funded under this project to have a broad reach.

Logistics Summary:
The Community Earth System Model (CESM), which is coordinated through the National Center for Atmospheric Research, is a community model that is built and used by the broad research community to understand a wide variety of processes. The CESM source code and simulation output are made freely available through supported and well-documented releases. The research community is invited to participate in model development, analysis, and experimental design through involvement in working groups, including the Polar Climate Working Group (PCWG), that are open to all scientists. Through targeted annual workshops, collaborative visits and outreach this project will expand the community of scientists using CESM for polar climate studies. No fieldwork is proposed.

All logistics will be organized by the researcher and paid through the grant.

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