The Community Earth System Model (CESM) is a fully-coupled, global climate model that provides state-of-the-art computer simulations of the Earth's past, present, and future climate states.
CESM is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Administration of the CESM is maintained by the Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Taken from CESM website:
Changes in climate, whether anthropogenic or natural, involve a complex interplay of physical, chemical, and biological processes of the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface. As climate system research seeks to explain the behavior of climate time scales of years to millennia, the focus necessarily turns to the interactions among the physical, chemical, and biogeochemical subsystems. The paleoclimate record reveals large correlated changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation and biogeochemistry. The challenges of modeling the roles of anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, reactive trace gases, and of changing land use in the earth system require a coupled-climate-system approach. While an appreciation that land-ocean-atmosphere interactions influence climate is not new, the emergence of coupled-climate-system questions as central scientific concerns of geophysics constitutes a major change in the research agendas of atmospheric science, oceanography, ecology, and hydrology.
Development of a comprehensive CESM that accurately represents the principal components of the climate system and their couplings requires both wide intellectual participation and computing capabilities beyond those available to most U.S. institutions. The CESM, therefore, must include an improved framework for coupling existing and future component models developed at multiple institutions, to permit rapid exploration of alternate formulations. This framework must be amenable to components of varying complexity and at varying resolutions, in accordance with a balance of scientific needs and resource demands. In particular, the CESM must accommodate an active program of simulations and evaluations, using an evolving model to address scientific issues and problems of national and international policy interest.
The CESM project will address important areas of climate system research. In particular, it is aimed at understanding and predicting the climate system. The long-term goals of the CESM project are simple but ambitious. They are:
to develop and to work continually to improve a comprehensive CESM that is at the forefront of international efforts in modeling the climate system, including the best possible component models coupled together in a balanced, harmoniousmodeling framework;
- to make the model readily available to, and usable by, the climate research community, and to actively engage the community in the ongoing process of model development;
to use the CESM to address important scientific questions about the climate system, including global change and interdecadal and interannual variability; and
to use appropriate versions of the CESM for calculations in support of national and international policy decisions.
Referenced by Mark Chandler on 8/9/11 at climate modeling workshop.