Organization: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Research Title: Global Modeling and Analysis Program

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 6.9
FY95 5.1
FY96 4.4

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Subcommittee (100%)
(b) Environmental Issue: Climate change (50%); Natural variability (25%); Large-scale changes in land use (10%); Global change (15%)
(c) Research Activity: System structure/function: Prediction (100%)

Organizational Component:
Science Division
Office of Mission to Planet Earth
NASA Headquarters
Washington DC 20546

Point of Contact:
Kenneth Bergman
Phone: 202-358-0765

Research Goals:
(a) To develop atmospheric and land/biosphere component models and couple them to ocean and sea ice models to form integrated physical climate models leading ultimately to full Earth system models. (b) To develop parameterizations for key processes in such models. c) To develop and implement a state-of-science model-driven data assimilation system capable of ingesting new satellite based data along with other data, with the goal of providing research quality Earth system data sets to the community. (d) To use both model integrations and assimilated data sets to increase understanding of climatic and Earth system processes.

Research Description:
This activity consists of three components: (a) development and application of atmospheric models and coupling them with other Earth system component models; (b) development and application of land surface/biospheric models and coupling them with other Earth system component models; and (c) development and implementation of a model driven data assimilation capability that is capable of ingesting EOS and other new remotely sensed observations along with all other observations and producing research quality model-assimilated data sets. These research activities are directed toward contributing to the following overall research activities of the Earth System Modeling and Global Analysis Branch of NASA's Office of Mission to Planet Earth:

Global Model Development and Integration- Research involving the development and improvement of numerical models at supra-regional to global scales for understanding global change. Supra-regional scale specifically refers to ocean basin, major drainage basin, or continental, as appropriate.

Global Data Assimilation and Analysis - The development and application of coupled Earth system models which assimilate satellite and other data to produce internally consistent, comprehensive data sets on supra-regional to global scales. The end result of this research is the production of geophysical, chemical, and biological data fields for model testing and validation, as well as generalized analysis of earth system variability and trends.

Climate Diagnostics, Sensitivity Studies, and Assessments - The refinement of models and the conduct of focused model experiments to produce specific predictions of the response of the future environment to projected stresses at the global scale with at least regional resolution. This includes research to determine model sensitivity, error propagation characteristics, and validity.

Program Interfaces:
This activity is part of the Earth System Modeling and Global Analysis research activity of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. The activity is coordinated with other related agency activities through the Integrative Modeling and Prediction Task Group of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research of Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR). The activity also receives guidance from several National Research Council committees, most notably the Climate Research Committee. Within NASA, the activity is coordinated with the Earth Observing System Program's Interdisciplinary Science and Data and Information System activities.

Program Milestones:
(a) A state-of-science coupled climate system model capable of providing predictions on interannual to century time scales that are useful for assessments by 1998, with the longer term goal of a full Earth system modeling capability. (b) An operational model driven data assimilation system capable of ingesting new satellite observations by 1998, to be implemented as an on-going EOSDIS capability to generate model-assimilated data sets.

Policy Payoffs:
(a) Ability to provide state-of-science global climate model predictions on interannual to century time scales that can be used as input to assessments of the impacts of climate variability and global change on socioeconomic interests. Also, provide a basis for development of full Earth system models useful for integrated assessments of the Earth system. (b) Ability to provide a comprehensive data set that includes new kinds of satellite based data as well as other available data, along with value added by the physical and dynamical constraints of an assimilating model, that can be used by researchers to track Earth system variability and change and to initialize and validate Earth system models. Ultimate payoffs are improved understanding of Earth system and improved ability to monitor and predict its behavior, leading to more accurate and reliable assessments for socioeconomic policymakers.