Developing tools that serve the climate research community
LLNL's Dean Williams is shown in front of a climate simulation image

Tech Transfer Competition Honors Partnership for Studying Climate Change

Friday, November 1, 2013

LLNL has again received recognition this year for its work to move breakthrough technologies into the commercial marketplace. Livermore researchers and technology transfer professionals garnered four awards in the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s (FLC) Far West Regional competition. This year’s awards were presented last week during the FLC’s three-day regional meeting in San Diego.

One of these awards recognized the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF), developed by LLNL and 11 partners to serve the data-driven needs of the climate research community. The collaboration was honored as an “outstanding partnership.”

The ESGF supports the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), which was established in 1995 by the World Climate Research Programme’s Working Group on Coupled Modeling to provide a community-based infrastructure for global climate model diagnosis, validation, intercomparison, and data access. CMIP simulation model runs are key components of the periodic assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC—and the scientists whose research supported the IPCC, including those from the ESGF—shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Through ESGF, scientists are able to analyze coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation models in a systematic fashion, a process that also serves to facilitate model improvement. The 2013 IPCC Fifth Assessment Report uses data from simulation model runs for the latest incarnation of CMIP—Phase 5.

To date, ESGF has made available more than 60 large-scale Phase 5 simulation model runs (more than 1.8 petabytes of data) from 27 worldwide climate research centers spanning 21 countries. ESGF portals are gateways to scientific data collections hosted at sites around the globe that allow the user to register and access the entire ESGF network of data and services. The open-source ESGF is used by virtually the entire climate research community.

In addition to LLNL, which leads the ESGF effort, partners in the federation include Oak Ridge, Argonne and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, the German Climate Computing Center, the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, the British Atmospheric Data Centre, Goddard Space Flight Center, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, and the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace. 

Computation’s Dean N. Williams is the principal investigator for the ESGF.