Leveraging Variable Resolution Capabilities in the Community Earth System Model (CESM) – Greenland

The System for Integrated Modeling of the Atmosphere (SIMA) has rolled out two new variable-resolution configurations with regional refinement over the Arctic and Greenland*. This is a 3D visualization of a simulation using the Greenland grid, which refines the big ice sheet with 1/8˚ grid resolution. The visualization shows that storms traverse the refinement region without numerical distortion. These storms splash onto the high-resolution representation of the Greenland Ice Sheet, producing realistic accumulation patterns for a more accurate surface mass balance. This configuration is currently being used to project the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet and global sea-level into the future, a joint collaboration between AMWG and the land ice working group.

*These new configurations are available in the latest version of CESM.


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Computational Modeling

Adam R. Herrington (NCAR/CGD)

Computational Resources

Cheyenne, NWSC

CESM Cross-WG CESM0008

Visualization and Post-production

Matt Rehme (NCAR/CISL)

Adam R. Herrington (NCAR/CGD)


System for Integrating Modeling of the Atmosphere: sima.ucar.edu

Community Earth System Model: https://github.com/ESCOMP/CESM

Visualization Software

The NCAR Command Language (Version 6.6.2) [Software]. (2019).

Boulder, Colorado: UCAR/NCAR/CISL/TDD.


The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

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Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.