A climate model solves mathematically formulated natural laws on a three-dimensional grid. The climate model divides the soil system into components (atmosphere, sea, sea ice, land with vegetation, etc.) that interact through transmission of energy, motion and moisture. When the climate model also includes advanced interactive atmosphere chemistry and biogeochemical cycles (such as the carbon cycle), it is called an earth system model.
The Norwegian Earth System Model NorESM has been developed since 2007 and has been an important tool for Norwegian climate researchers in the study of the past, present and future climate. NorESM has also contributed to climate simulation that has been used in research assessed in the IPCC's fifth main report.
The project Infrastructure for Norwegian Earth System Modeling (INES) will support the further development of NorESM and help Norwegian scientists also gain access to a cutting-edge earth system model in the years to come. Technical support will be provided for the use of a more refined grid, the ability to respond to climate change up to 10 years in advance, the inclusion of new processes at high latitudes and the ability of long-term projection of sea level.
Climate simulations with NorESM are made on some of the most powerful supercomputers in Norway, and INES will help these exotic computers to be exploited in the best possible way and that the large data sets produced are efficiently stored and used. The project will ensure that researchers can efficiently use the model tool, analyze results and make the results available.
In Earth System Models (ESMs) sophisticated models of individual climate system components are coupled together, allowing for climate feedbacks involving atmospheric chemistry and biogeochemistry. ESMs are the only means for aggregation and compression of all information necessary to quantify dynamics and impacts of ongoing climate change, including all relevant feedbacks. The Infrastructure for Norwegian Earth System modeling (INES) project brings together institutions of the Norwegian climate research community, who in collaboration have established, maintained and upgraded the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM) in the past decade. The objectives of INES are:
- Upgrade and maintain a cutting-edge and verified ESM suitable for the national climate science community and participation in international model intercomparison projects.
- Provide an infrastructure for efficient model simulations, storage, analysis and validation available for the national climate science community and collaborating international groups.
- For efficient sharing of model data, provide an infrastructure that connects to international data grids and ensures that model data complies with established standards of the climate community.
INES will upgrade the infrastructure elements of the current national ESM activity. A decadal climate prediction system based on NorESM has been developed in parallel with the basic ESM system and the infrastructure aspects of these activities will be merged. National climate modelling is highly dependent on HPC and storage systems provided by UNINETT Sigma2 and INES will ensure continuous and efficient utilization of these systems. The INES is expected to have a high impact on users depending on a world class ESM as a "virtual laboratory" for addressing a large range of science topics. This is demonstrated by the high involvement of NorESM in past and current projects (19 EU, 26 RCN, 13 internal institutional, 7 Nordic) and international assessments.