May 15, 2000
DOE's Climate Change Prediction Program (CCPP, formerly CHAMMP)
has awarded $3 million over 18 months to a multi-agency, multi-laboratory
collaboration that aims to develop a modular, performance-portable
Climate System Model. NERSC will receive $540,000 of that total.
Led by Ian Foster of Argonne National Laboratory, the collaboration
includes NERSC's Chris Ding and nine other co-investigators from
Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, Argonne, and Lawrence Livermore national
laboratories and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
NCAR scientists are working to merge two of the world's most advanced
computer climate models, the Climate System Model (CSM) and the
Parallel Climate Model (PCM). CSM achieves high performance on parallel
vector computers, but was not designed to exploit scalable parallel
architectures, and will not scale beyond 64 processors. PCM, developed
with DOE support, was designed specifically for parallel systems.
The merged CSM-2 will include the best features of both models.
The new R&D work will enable "plug and play" substitution of
important modules, making it easier for scientists to improve individual
components, and will develop a next-generation "coupler," the top-level
model that organizes all the sub-models such as atmosphere, ocean,
and sea ice. The result will be a model that performs well on a
variety of computer architectures, producing more detailed results
in less time.
NERSC has two tasks: to optimize input/output and to optimize the
code for IBM SP and distributed scalable memory architectures. Helen
He and a not-yet-hired researcher will work with Chris on the project.
Chris hopes that climate model development will be a long-term growth
area for NERSC, since there's more work than can be done in 18 months.
Even more important, with the code optimized for the IBM SP, NERSC
could play an even larger role as one of the main facilities for
running climate models.