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Minutes of the CSM Scientific Steering Committee (SSC)

10 and 11 February 1999

NCAR, Director's Conference Room


Attendees: Maurice Blackmon (Chair), J. Shukla, Byron Boville, Bob Dickinson, Peter Gent, Frank Bryan, Dave Randall, Jeff Kiehl, Jay Fein, Anjuli Bamzai, Lydia Harper

1. Future of NCAR's Computer Environment. Al Kellie, SCD Division Director, reported on the options being considered for NCAR's computing environment.

2. Report on the Accelerated Climate Prediction Initiative (ACPI). Fein reported on ACPI and the Information Technology for 2000 (IT2) Initiative that includes NSF, DOE, and NOAA. NOAA's GFDL will receive funding for computer hardware. DOE will receive $30M for applications and $40M for computer science and engineering. A portion ($10M) of the DOE funding for computer science and engineering will be used for research. NSF will receive funding also, but it is not yet decided how the funds will be used.

3. Climate of the 20th and 21st Century Projects. Boville reported on the progress of the 20th and 21st century simulations and showed some preliminary results. The first climate of the 20th century simulation (1870-1999) was completed on the C90 at NCAR in September, 1998. This simulation used specified monthly three-dimensional sulfate aerosol distributions. The aerosol was obtained from a CCM3 simulation with specified climatological SSTs and a noninteracting aerosol chemistry code using 1985 source gas rates. For the 1870-1999 period, the anthropogenic component of the aerosol was scaled by the ratio of the time dependent SO2 emission to the 1985 value.

Two 21st century simulations (for different CO2 scenarios) were completed on a SX4 at NEC's computing facility in Japan, using funding from EPRI arranged through ACACIA. Initial conditions for these simulations were taken from year 1980 of the 20th century simulation. Aside from the trace gas concentrations, the only difference compared to the 20th century simulation was that the aerosol model was solved online, with a scenario of future SO2 emissions. The "Business as Usual" (BAU) simulation had CO2 continuing to increase at present rates throughout the 21st century and exceeding 700 ppmv at year 2100, while in the "Stabilization" simulation, CO2 approached 550 ppmv at 2100. The increase in global surface air temperature was about 0.5 K smaller in the stabilization at 1.2 K above present day, compared to an increase of 1.7 K in the BAU run. Data from these runs was still being processed and would be made available to the climate impacts community shortly for use in the National Climate Assessment.

4. Report from the Ocean Model Working Group Meeting. Gent reported on discussions from this meeting. A working group report will also be completed and distributed.

5. Report from the Polar Climate Working Group Meeting. Large reported on this meeting. A working group report has been completed. (It is on the web at http://www.cesm.ucar.edu/working_groups, click on Polar and Report in January 99).

6. Report from the Paleoclimate Working Group Meeting. The Paleoclimate Working Group met at NCAR on 19 and 20 January 1999 concurrently with the Ocean Model and Polar Climate Working Groups. On the first morning, a joint meeting was held. Otto-Bliesner presented results from two low-resolution paleo coupled runs, a 150-year "1990" simulation and a 200-year "1800" simulation. Both simulations used CSM1.2 with T31 atmosphere-land resolution and x3'; ocean-sea ice resolution. In addition, the ocean model included the anisotropic viscosity formulation. Results show an improved El Niño signal compared to previous low-resolution simulations.

The working groups then met separately. Brady reported in greater detail on the "1990" simulation. The equatorial undercurrent in the x3' formulation is more realistically simulated, being stronger (80 cm/s vs. 8 cm/s in the x3') and narrower (5 vs. 15 latitude). Schneider, COLA, reported on results of simulations with the CCM dynamical core used in the COLA model, and DeConto, NCAR and University of Massachusetts, described planned efforts to include paleo-tracers in the CSM. A comparison of ENSO and NAO variability and teleconnections for present and 6000 years before present was given by Otto-Bliesner, NCAR. Ammann, University of Massachusetts and long-term visitor to NCAR, presented time series of solar and volcanic forcing for the last 400 years that will be evaluated in low-resolution coupled simulations as part of CSENT (Climate of the Seventeenth-Eighteenth-Nineteenth-Twentieth Centuries). Baum, Texas A&M University, finished the afternoon presentations with a description of energy balance model sensitivities to these climate forcings.

7. Report on Plans for the Joint Meeting of the Atmosphere Model, Natural Variability, and Seasonal-to-Interannual Working Groups. Hack reported on the plans for these joint meetings, stating that the focus of the discussions will be exclusively on CCM and CSM framework. The Atmosphere Model Working Group members will promote two-way dialog with the other working group members on model prototyping, quantitatively specifying current deficiencies in CCM3, and identifying aspects of the simulation that must be preserved. Progress on research using CSL allocations will also be presented.

Randall suggested that the Seasonal-to-Interannual Working Group take responsibility for conducting a multi-decadal coupled simulation using the latest version of CCM3 (with prognostic cloud water), the x2' ocean model, the sea ice model, and the land model before the joint meeting, so it can be discussed. He also suggested that someone from the Paleoclimate Working Group present their tropical simulation work for discussion. Hack said a Lin/Rood dynamical core presentation is also being considered.

8. Report on Seasonal-to-Interannual Plan. Shukla reported that the SI Working Group wanted to do two different experiments using CSM with POP and another using the COLA atmosphere model and MOM3. The SSC noted that the second experiment does not use any components from the existing CSM implementation and discussed whether it should be considered a CSM project. No decision was reached, and the SSC requested that Shukla and Tribbia revise the SI Plan to describe how this work would feed back into the core CSM.

9. Report on Database Management and Diagnostics Working Groups. Blackmon reported on the new CSM NCL processor tool being developed by Sylvia Murphy. She was able to obtain Jim Hurrell's diagnostics scripts and is working on the new processor. The SSC requested she report on the progress she has made at the SSC meeting in Breckenridge on 21 June 1999. Blackmon also reported that web page links to the developers of other output tools, such as GRADS, will be added to the CSM web page.

Blackmon also distributed the e-mail from Karl Taylor regarding the data working group meeting on coding and data standards that was held at the January, 1999 AMS meeting in Dallas. Further discussions need to be held with Taylor regarding coding and data standards.

Blackmon reported that he has been asked to discuss compression of netCDF data and the possibility of a massively parallel version of netCDF with UCAR's Unidata program.

Randall reported that Sumant Nigam has begun work on climate diagnostics through the Atmosphere Model Working Group.


10. Report on NSF Funding. Bamzai distributed a list of all CSM-related awards at NSF/ATM at this time. Fein reported that NSF/ATM has received an increment of $600,000 in new funds for CMAP, which will be fully dedicated to CSM activities; $400,000 for grants and $200,000 for NCAR's CGD CSM activities. He requested advice from the SSC as to how best to use the $400,000 for grant research: (a) new start-up grants (SGERs) or (b) fund 4 additional grant proposals received by NSF for CSM-related research? The SSC recommended that a CSM priority list be advertised through an Announcement of Opportunity or that the priority list be advertised at the next CSM Workshop through the working groups.

11. CSM Proprietary Rights. Fein requested the SSC write a Policy Statement on proprietary rights on CSM data. A discussion ensued about copyright issues and how "NCAR CSM" or "CSM" can be used. Only the official version of the model should be called CSM.

12. Discussion of Relationship between the CAB and the SSC. Randall proposed that the CAB's Terms of Reference include that the CAB report to the SSC, in addition to the NSF-ATM Program Manager, NCAR Director, and UCAR President. Fein will discuss changes to the CAB's Terms of Reference with Anthes and Serafin and then CAB at their April, 1999, meeting in Washington, D.C. The SSC sees a need for CAB's advice and thinks the CAB should have their own meetings. Blackmon will write a response to the CAB letter, circulate it, and send it to Sarachik, Anthes, Serafin, and Fein. All SSC members will sign the letter.

13. What is CSM? It was identified that many people do not know what CSM is or that they have incorrect information about CSM. A BAMS article will be written from the CSM Plan describing what CSM really is, where CSM is now, and where CSM is going in the future. The article will include a list of players and be from the entire SSC.

14. Report on CSM's CSL Allocations. Blackmon reported on the CSL allocations. The Cray C-90 is fully utilized, while the SGI Origin 2000 and Cray J-9 are underutilized.

Fein reported that the CSL Announcement of Opportunity would be broadcast in early to mid spring 1999. He said the allocation panel will likely look at the CSM proposal in the context of how it responds to their suggestions, such as the addition of river runoff. The SSC recommended that a first draft of the CSM proposal for CSL allocations be discussed at the 1999 CSM Workshop in Breckenridge. They also recommended that a list of experiments be included in the proposal.

15. Report of Funding of FY98 CSM Meetings. Harper reported that in FY98 $2,554 was spent on CSM SSC meetings, $12,225 was spent on working group meetings, and $73,192 was spent on the Third Annual CSM Workshop, which supported members of the CAB and SSC, working group co-chairs, and others to attend the workshop.

16. SSC Meeting Information. Blackmon agreed that in the future the agenda for each SSC meeting would be finalized two weeks before each meeting, and all information material would be sent to the SSC members one week before each meeting.

17. CSM Version 2.0, Goal for the Year 2000. The SSC recommended the goal of completing CSM Version 2.0 by January, 2000. CSM Version 2.0 possibly would include the x2΄ ocean model (POP) with recent physics improvements, the EVP and/or VP ice model, the Common Land Model with river runoff, and the CCM4 (30 levels with prognostic cloud water scheme). The SSC decided on the schedule of hopefully having CSM Version 2.0 prototype models available by January, 2000, but codes would not necessarily be ready for release to the community. Any code adopted should be written for the community and documented before release. Data sets produced by prototype models will be available to those scientists working towards the development of CSM Version 2.0. The documented model would hopefully be released at the June, 2000, CSM Workshop.

18. Updated CSM Plan. The SSC decided that the structure of the plan will be:

(a) Introduction/Overview (drafted by Randall and Blackmon)

- what CSM is

- background information

- where CSM is going (vision)

- 2 to 3 pages

(b) Achievements/Accomplishments (drafted by Boville and Gent)

- 300 year run

- 1% solution

- 20th and 21st century projects

- timeline figure of achievements

- end with where CSM is now

- 10 pages (including graphics)

(c) Plan (drafted by Dickinson and Kiehl)

- using the working group plans received, draft a cohesive plan and goals

- include all model components

- include brief description of current work

- include resource requirements for personnel and computing

(d) Community Involvement and Outreach (drafted by Boville and Shukla)

(e) Rename models??? (SSC members: Did we agree on this?)

- Climate System Atmosphere Model (CSAM)

- Climate System Ocean Model (CSOM)

- Climate System Land Model (CSLM)

- Climate System Ice Model (CSIM)

(f) Management Plan

- CAB, SSC, and Working Group Co-Chair lists

- Terms of Reference for CAB and SSC

- Management Structure document

- Include URLs for anything on web in Plan


Harper will e-mail to the SSC immediately the Updated CSM Plan outline and any parts already available. On 26 February each person will report on his or her progress to Harper via e-mail, and a combined progress report will be sent to the SSC. On 12 March and 26 March, each person will report on his or her progress and a combined progress report will be sent to the SSC. The first draft of the Updated CSM Plan will be sent to the SSC on 1 April by Harper via e-mail in ASCII format for editing and comment.

19. Plans for 1999 CSM Workshop. The SSC will meet no earlier than 10:00 a.m. on Monday, 21 June 1999, at Breckenridge. Blackmon will discuss this further via e-mail with the SSC as the workshop gets closer but before 4 June 1999. Travel support will be given to graduate students, then postdocs, and then scientists. Fein will invite Corell and OSTP person to the workshop.

Tentatively, the SSC agreed on the following workshop agenda:

On Tuesday, 22 June 1999, we will begin the workshop with a plenary session in the morning. The invited talks will include:

- CSM Global Overview/Update and CSM Plan Discussion

- Climate of the 20th and 21st Century Projects

- Paleoclimate update with the multi-hundred year simulation discussed

- Biogeochemistry Working Group presentation

On Tuesday afternoon, a 30-minute science presentation will be given by each of the other six working groups, with the presentation subject and speaker selected by each working group.

On Wednesday morning, the Atmosphere Model, Ocean Model, and Land Model Working Groups would meet. On Wednesday afternoon, the Polar Climate, Chemistry and Climate Change, and Seasonal-to-Interannual Working Groups would meet. On Thursday morning, the Paleoclimate, Natural Variability, and Biogeochemistry Working Groups would meet. On Thursday afternoon, we will end the workshop in plenary session with working group reports.


Blackmon will e-mail the tentative workshop plans to the working group co-chairs and request their comments. The working group co-chairs of the Atmosphere Model, Ocean Model, Land Model, Polar Climate, Natural Variability, and Seasonal-to-Interannual Working Groups should decide on a topic and speaker for a 30-minute science presentation on Tuesday afternoon for their group. The SSC agreed that any request to give a presentation at a plenary session must be approved by all members of the SSC.