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NOAA and DOE partner to advance detailed predictions of the Earth system


Improving the initialization of high-resolution Earth-system models could help scientists produce better detailed predictions of the atmosphere, ocean, and land. Credit: NOAA

Communities around the country need detailed predictions of the atmosphere, ocean, and land in order to better prepare for and mitigate against potential weather extremes and hazards. However, these types of predictions require detailed input about the initial state of these different parts of the Earth system, and the capability to use that input to run the prediction models — this process, called data assimilation, is a major challenge for the climate modeling community. No single best approach for initializing high-resolution Earth-system models has been identified due to limitations such as computing resources, and knowledge and observations of processes at fine scales. To bring attention to this important challenge and scope and evaluate future directions, NOAA and the Department of Energy co-hosted a workshop on the Initialization of High-Resolution Earth System Models bringing together experts from the climate modeling community. NOAA’s MAPP Program co-supported the workshop, and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory participated, presenting their approaches and experience to high-resolution model initialization. Workshop outcomes include a published report synthesizing the group’s views of challenges, opportunities and future directions for high-resolution Earth-system model initialization as well as potentially an inter-agency science group to guide future capabilities in the long-term. The meeting took place April 9-10 in Rockville, Maryland.


About MAPP
The Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program is a competitive research program in NOAA Research’s Climate Program Office. MAPP’s mission is to enhance the Nation’s and NOAA’s capability to understand, predict, and project variability and long-term changes in Earth’s system and mitigate human and economic impacts. To achieve its mission, MAPP supports foundational research, transition of research to applications, and engagement across other parts of NOAA, among partner agencies, and with the external research community. MAPP plays a crucial role in enabling national preparedness for extreme events like drought and longer-term climate changes. For more information, please visit

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