These figures illustrate the progress made by the HPCC Program. The top figure shows the highest-resolution global ocean simulations carried out just before the Program began. The approximation to the Earth's topography contained only three "islands," and the calculated ocean currents had only gross features. The calculations were insufficient to predict regional climates that require an accurate representation of the global ocean structure. Time sequences of these simulations were also inadequate for global climate prediction because few computing systems were powerful enough to carry out these simulations before 1992.
The bottom figure is the highest resolution simulation carried out in 1995 with the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) developed at DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory. In this case the topography contains 80 islands. It shows ocean currents that transport heat between ocean regions (brighter colors represent higher velocities). The simulations were carried out on the 1,024-node Thinking Machines CM-5 supercomputer using approximately 10 X 10 miles resolution. Improved numerical methods and increased power of the CM-5 made possible longer and more realistic simulations that more accurately represent the ocean structure, as is evidenced from the existence of the known strong boundary currents such as the Gulf Stream. This model is the foundation for a new coupled atmosphere-ocean climate model that should reduce many uncertainties associated with model- based climate change prediction. Further information can be found at:
This project is jointly sponsored by the HPCC Program and the Federal Global Change Research (GCR) Program. It illustrates the beneficial symbiotic relationship between the two interagency programs.