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J.-I. Yano, P. M. M. Soares, M. Köhler, and A. Deluca
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Gerhard Theurich, C. DeLuca, T. Campbell, F. Liu, K. Saint, M. Vertenstein, J. Chen, R. Oehmke, J. Doyle, T. Whitcomb, A. Wallcraft, M. Iredell, T. Black, A. M. Da Silva, T. Clune, R. Ferraro, P. Li, M. Kelley, I. Aleinov, V. Balaji, N. Zadeh, R. Jacob, B. Kirtman, F. Giraldo, D. McCarren, S. Sandgathe, S. Peckham, and R. Dunlap IV


The Earth System Prediction Suite (ESPS) is a collection of flagship U.S. weather and climate models and model components that are being instrumented to conform to interoperability conventions, documented to follow metadata standards, and made available either under open-source terms or to credentialed users.

The ESPS represents a culmination of efforts to create a common Earth system model architecture, and the advent of increasingly coordinated model development activities in the United States. ESPS component interfaces are based on the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF), community-developed software for building and coupling models, and the National Unified Operational Prediction Capability (NUOPC) Layer, a set of ESMF-based component templates and interoperability conventions. This shared infrastructure simplifies the process of model coupling by guaranteeing that components conform to a set of technical and semantic behaviors. The ESPS encourages distributed, multiagency development of coupled modeling systems; controlled experimentation and testing; and exploration of novel model configurations, such as those motivated by research involving managed and interactive ensembles. ESPS codes include the Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM), the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM), and the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS); the NOAA Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) and the Modular Ocean Model (MOM); the Community Earth System Model (CESM); and the NASA ModelE climate model and the Goddard Earth Observing System Model, version 5 (GEOS-5), atmospheric general circulation model.

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Jun-Ichi Yano, Michał Z. Ziemiański, Mike Cullen, Piet Termonia, Jeanette Onvlee, Lisa Bengtsson, Alberto Carrassi, Richard Davy, Anna Deluca, Suzanne L. Gray, Víctor Homar, Martin Köhler, Simon Krichak, Silas Michaelides, Vaughan T. J. Phillips, Pedro M. M. Soares, and Andrzej A. Wyszogrodzki


After extensive efforts over the course of a decade, convective-scale weather forecasts with horizontal grid spacings of 1–5 km are now operational at national weather services around the world, accompanied by ensemble prediction systems (EPSs). However, though already operational, the capacity of forecasts for this scale is still to be fully exploited by overcoming the fundamental difficulty in prediction: the fully three-dimensional and turbulent nature of the atmosphere. The prediction of this scale is totally different from that of the synoptic scale (103 km), with slowly evolving semigeostrophic dynamics and relatively long predictability on the order of a few days.

Even theoretically, very little is understood about the convective scale compared to our extensive knowledge of the synoptic-scale weather regime as a partial differential equation system, as well as in terms of the fluid mechanics, predictability, uncertainties, and stochasticity. Furthermore, there is a requirement for a drastic modification of data assimilation methodologies, physics (e.g., microphysics), and parameterizations, as well as the numerics for use at the convective scale. We need to focus on more fundamental theoretical issues—the Liouville principle and Bayesian probability for probabilistic forecasts—and more fundamental turbulence research to provide robust numerics for the full variety of turbulent flows.

The present essay reviews those basic theoretical challenges as comprehensibly as possible. The breadth of the problems that we face is a challenge in itself: an attempt to reduce these into a single critical agenda should be avoided.

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