The Atmosphere, Ocean, and Earth Science team’s research employs a hierarchy of Earth system models with differing resolutions (from 100km to 50km in the atmosphere, and 1 degree to 1/10 degree in the ocean) to improve both the modeling and understanding of important fine-scale processes. Access to high-performance computing and big-data analytics is essential to both producing these simulations and, importantly, understanding how they help us understand how the climate system works. In particular, the improved representation of small-scale processes in the higher resolution climate models is essential in terms of capturing extreme events such as hurricanes, floods, and heatwaves. The results of this research have critical consequences for predicting seasonal to decadal climate changes around the globe.
20 Years of High-Resolution Climate Simulation of the 21st Century
Along the coasts, sea level shows substantial year-to-year and decadal fluctuations. These fluctuations are related to shifts in ocean circulation patterns, large-scale climate phenomena like El-Niño, and other land movement factors. Regional and local changes in sea level are important contributors to coastal zone flood risk, which has significant economic impacts. Our research includes projections of extreme sea levels from a suite of Earth system models with different spatial resolutions. These models include the typical CMIP5-class model used for the 2013 IPCC climate assessment, as well as newer climate models, which include a higher spatial resolution to resolve coastal zones better.
High-Resolution 21st Century Climate Simulation Sea Level Trend