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$10M weather and climate project will refine models, forecasting

Alan Flurry

UGA geography faculty member Gabriel Kooperman will lead one of 13 new DOE projects to enhance and refine computer models that help scientists understand weather patterns:

This past July, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $10 million in funding for 13 projects aimed at further enhancing one of the world’s most sophisticated computer models for understanding weather and climate patterns.

The projects will support development and analysis of the Energy Exascale Earth System Model, known as E3SM, which seeks to provide more accurate and higher-resolution representation of weather and climate events by taking advantage of the cutting-edge supercomputing facilities at DOE National Laboratories.

Among the projects, a University of Georgia-led collaboration will evaluate two promising directions in the future development of the E3SM: The first increases the horizontal-resolution of the model in order to better capture intermediate- to large-scale dynamics with a single resolved scale (~25 km). The second uses a high-resolution cloud-resolving model (~2 km) embedded within the standard-resolution E3SM (~100 km) to represent cloud processes with a second resolved scale.

“Weather events that produce extreme precipitation cover a range of spatial scales from tens to thousands of kilometers and include systems from individual thunderstorms to hurricanes to massive winter storms,” said Gabriel J. Kooperman, assistant professor of geography in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator on one of the 13 projects. “The objectives of this work are to improve our understanding of the small- and large-scale processes that govern these events, and improve our ability to predict and prepare for their changes under the influences of natural variability and human activities.”

Great work, with important implications for helping states prepare for severe weather and respond to situations that threaten people and property. This is vital work in the defense of the commonwealth, that in its execution continues to hone the skills and expertise of one of our best young faculty members. It's one of the combinations we love, much like meaningful sporting events on the first day of December. As coach always says, Go Dawgs.

Image: The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in May 2018. (Photo by Amanda Frossard)

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