The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) awarded $70 million in funding to seven research projects that will assist in the continued development of a supercomputer model of Earth’s climate system, according to an Aug. 30 press release.

The Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) provides climate simulations and predictions through an ultra-high-resolution model of Earth that is run on exascale supercomputers. These computers are millions of times more powerful than modern personal computers, with DoE’s technology being recently named the fastest in the world.

“The model is constantly being improved to provide the best simulation and prediction possible to researchers in Earth system science,” the agency said.

This technology enables scientific discovery through collaborations between climate and computer scientists, as well as mathematicians. Data from this model enhances scientists’ understanding of climate change.

According to the award list, three of the research projects will take place at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, three others will be conducted at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington, and the seventh project will be conducted at the University of New Mexico. The studies on the E3SM will range from simulations of ocean circulation in the Atlantic to the dynamics of compound flooding.

These projects will give university and National Lab researchers deep insight into the oceans, air and climate, said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. It will also demonstrate how emissions are impacting the world around us right now and in the future.

“Being able to understand and predict what is happening in a system as complex as planet Earth is crucial to finding solutions to climate change,” Granholm said.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.