LIVERMORE -- Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley lab researchers, along with scientists from six other national laboratories, will take part in a state-of-the-art supercomputing project designed to model, simulate and predict the effects of climate change on Earth.

The 10-year Energy Department project -- Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy -- will develop and apply advanced climate system models on cutting-edge high-performance computing machines as soon as they become available, lab officials said.

"The (complex scientific) challenge simulations are not yet possible with current model and computing capabilities," Livermore National Laboratory atmospheric scientist and ACME council chair David Bader said.

"But we developed a set of achievable experiments that make major advances toward answering the ... questions using a modeling system, which we can construct to run on leading computing architectures over the next three years."

The ACME team includes the National Center for Atmospheric Research, four academic institutions and a private company.

Other participating national laboratories include Argonne, Brookhaven, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Sandia.

Researchers will start by analyzing three climate change drivers using the Energy Department's facilities at Oak Ridge and Argonne.

During the initial phase, supercomputing models will be used to simulate changes in the water cycle and analyze how those changes interact with the Earth's climate system.


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They will also examine how nutrient cycles affect global climate change and assess the near-term risks of the rapid melting of the Antarctic ice sheet.

The Energy Department's Office of Science is providing $18 million per year for the project, according to lab spokeswoman Anne Stark.

Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.