Climate – Bridging human impacts

Jul 05, 2017
A new integrated climate model developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other institutions is designed to reduce uncertainties in future climate predictions as it bridges Earth systems with energy and economic models and large-scale human impact data.

A new integrated computational model reduces uncertainty in climate predictions by bridging Earth systems with energy and economic models and large-scale human impact data. Co-developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the novel integrated Earth system model, or iESM, leverages the power of supercomputers, including ORNL’s Titan, to couple biospheric feedbacks from oceans, atmosphere and land with human activity, such as greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture and land use. “The resulting model provides comprehensive predictions of projected climate outcomes, eliminating important sources of uncertainty from those predictions,” ORNL’s Peter Thornton said. The ORNL-led team detailed the modeling results in Nature Climate Change. They will continue using Titan to further develop, evaluate and apply iESM, delivering new knowledge and capabilities to the broader climate science community. [Contact: Sara Shoemaker, (865) 576-9219; shoemakerms@ornl.gov]

Citation: Thornton, P. E., K. Calvin, A. D. Jones, A. V. Di Vittorio, B. Bond-Lamberty, L. Chini, X. Shi, J. Mao, W. D. Collins, J. Edmonds, A. Thomson, J. Truesdale, A. Craig, M. Branstetter and G. Hurtt 2017. Biospheric feedback effects in a synchronously coupled model of human and Earth systems. Nature Clim. Change, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate3310

YouTube clip of bridging Earth systems with energy and economic models and large-scale human impact data.