Past Awardee

Supercomputing Optimization of a Regional Climate Model for US Midwest Applications

Xin-Zhong Liang
Xin-Zhong Liang

College: Illinois State Water Survey
Award year: 2000-2001

The Illinois State Water Survey, an affiliated member of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has established a program to develop an integrated Climate, Air Quality and Impact Modeling System (CAQIMS). The objective of the program is to provide credible information on climate and air quality, including their variability, change and impact, as a scientific basis for decision makers to select optimal pathways to achieve future economic, societal and environmental goals in Illinois. As the core component of the CAQIMS, a mesoscale regional climate model (RCM) is currently undergoing intensive development and extensive validation. The RCM is physically comprehensive and computationally intensive. The model development is confronted with computational challenges that can not be handled by the Water Survey resources. The goal of this proposal is to establish a collaborative effort with NCSA computer scientists to [1] improve code optimization for efficient parallel or distributed computing; [2] incorporate a robust, unified HDF5/NetCDF data format for massive database interfacing; [3] implement advanced data rendering and visualization for comprehensive analysis; [4] couple then-optimized physics parameterizations with the next-generation regional Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model. The outcome of the collaboration will be an enhanced RCM supercomputing capability that is essential for a successful implementation of the CAQIMS program. The experiences and supercomputing techniques acquired through this collaborative effort will be applied in, and thus benefit, the future design and development of the entire CAQIMS.

The successful completion of the proposed research will have broad applications and great significance. In principal, the CAQIMS is designed not only to address Illinois pressing issues, but also to provide a comprehensive tool for climate related studies over the Midwest or the whole US in general. It is currently playing an important role in the implementation of the UIUC Critical Research Initiative Grant (CRI), and will shortly be a key component in the CRI join proposals in response to recent EPA STAR, NASA CAN and Keck Foundation announcements. Given this crucial importance, the Water Survey will commit additional 3 months of the PI and 8 months of a GRA to consolidate the collaborative effort if funding for the project is approved.