The National Institute for Computational Sciences

Climate Modeling

One area in which Kraken’s presence will surely be felt is climate change. With the consensus that carbon dioxide is altering the Earth’s climate, the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has asked climate modelers to perform a new type of short-term climate simulation.

Whereas in the past many climate models looked forward a hundred years, this new, shorter-term model will make predictions to 2030, giving researchers a new degree of resolution precision. The smaller timescale means that the atmosphere and land components of the model can now be run with previously unthinkable accuracy (such as incorporating the elevation of the Rocky Mountains and their influence on weather patterns). Furthermore, because carbon dioxide emissions till 2030 are fairly predictable, the uncertainty surrounding future emission standards that hampers longer-term models is greatly reduced. The new models will also make it possible to address climate predictability on decadal timescales and will emphasize human-induced land use changes, further providing policymakers with better information to address the possible ramifications of climate change.