Although a few simulations of this magnitude have been performed at other institutions using earth-systems models, they all have included artificial constraints on the solution to prevent it from drifting far fromthe real climate. "From its beginning," says Byron, "the CSM project has focused on simulating the present climate without imposing constraints on the model." The CSM includes ocean/atmosphere coupling as well as interactions with land surface, vegetation, and sea ice. "We're hoping to get a stable climate that resembles the earth's, with reasonable levels of interannual and interdecadal variability," says Byron. "So far, the results look good."
The model run began in August on an NCAR CRAY Y-MP supercomputer at a rate of around one simulated year per day. Once the new CRAY C-90 was up and running in December, the pace quicked to five years per day. The completed 200-year run will serve as a benchmark for future use of the CSM. Byron and colleagues are now working on papers detailing the initial results.
Kathy Miller, an economist in ESIG since 1985, will serve as interim director beginning 27 March. Mickey will continue his ongoing research as a senior scientist within the group.