Toward bridging field observations and climate model developments: the U.S. DOE modeling testbeds

Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
Weekly Colloquium

Thursday, October 18, 2018
4:00 pm in Harshbarger 206 ~ Refreshments at 3:45 pm

Shaocheng Xie
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California


Detailed ground-based observations of clouds and aerosols are crucial to improving the understanding and representation of their associated physical processes as well as their interactions and coupling with the Earth’s surface in climate and earth system models. However, the spatial mismatch between the high-resolution field observations and global-scale climate models (horizontal resolution on the order of 100 km) has limited the use of such valuable field data in global climate model developments. To bridge this scale gap, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has used multi-scale modeling testbeds in conjunction with its field observations over a limited number of stations to develop representations of cloud and aerosol processes in the climate model.

This presentation will provide an overview of the US DOE modeling testbeds, which include single-column and cloud resolving models as well as the ongoing routine operation of large-eddy simulations (LASSO). The Cloud-Associated Parameterizations Testbed (CAPT), which was developed to run climate models in short-range hindcast mode, will be also discussed. Examples of using these testbeds to link data collected from the US DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program to the community atmospheric model (CAM) development will be given. The ARM program was created in 1989 to address scientific uncertainties related to global climate change, with a focus on the crucial role of clouds and aerosols and their influence on the transfer of radiation in the atmosphere. Its long-term continuous observations have provided invaluable information and observational basis for climate research.

This work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.


Dr. Shaocheng Xie is a senior staff scientist and group leader for the Cloud Processes Research and Modeling group of the Atmospheric, Earth and Energy Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). He currently serves as a member on the LLNL climate research leadership committee and leads many important DOE climate projects in both observations and modeling. These include leading the development of data products and tools for the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program to bridge the gap between ARM data and cloud/climate modeling; leading the DOE Earth System Model (E3SM) next generation development of atmospheric physics; co-leading the DOE multi-lab/institution Climate Model Development and Validation (CMDV-RRM) project. He was the co-chair for developing the E3SM v1 atmosphere model and co-lead for the DOE Cloud-Associated Parameterizations Testbed (CAPT) Project, which uses the weather hindcast approach to evaluate climate models.

Dr. Xie earned his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1998, his MS from the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences in 1988, and his BS from the Nanjing Institute of Meteorology, China, in 1985. Before came to the United States in 1993, he had spent five years at the National Meteorological Center of China where he led the development of the second generation of Numerical Weather Prediction system for China’s Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (T63) as the primary technical leader. During this period, he won several major national science awards for his work, including the first-place science awards from the Chinese Meteorology Administration (CMA) and the Chinese National Science and Technology Committee. He was promoted to a senior scientist position in 1993 by CMA.