Our Modeling Capabilities and Expertise
Improving our understanding of natural and human systems at the process level or in integrated systems requires expertise and capabilities in modeling. From developing new modeling paradigms to improving representations of specific processes to multi-scale hypothesis testing, PNNL scientists are leaders in developing and using models to reveal new science insights.
Aerosols and Clouds [+ expand/ - collapse]
Aerosol Modeling Testbed (AMT)
The AMT is used to test new aerosol treatments for regional and global climate models over local to synoptic scales. AMT reduces the time and expense required to fully evaluate such approaches in a three-dimensional mode. It extends the framework of a multi-scale, fully coupled meteorology-chemistry-aerosol model (WRF-Chem) to be more modular so that it can be better used as a tool to develop and/or evaluate new aerosol treatments.
Contact: Jerome Fast
Cloud-Resolving and LES Modeling
Understanding how aerosols, clouds and precipitation interact demands simultaneous knowledge of aerosol and cloud properties, such as composition and size distribution of cloud and aerosol particles, as well as the physical and chemical processes affecting these properties. We study aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions in stratiform and convective clouds using cloud-resolving and large-eddy simulation (LES) models, such as the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and the System for Atmospheric Modeling (SAM) with bulk/bin microphysical schemes. We also apply LES to research surface-atmosphere exchange and turbulent transport of heat, moisture, momentum and tracers.
Contact: Mikhail Ovchinnikov
MOSAIC & PartMC-MOSAIC
The Model for Simulating Aerosol Interactions and Chemistry, or MOSAIC, is PNNL's advanced aerosol chemistry and microphysics module that treats tropospheric trace gas photochemistry, aerosol thermodynamics, dynamic gas-particle mass transfer, particle-phase chemistry, coagulation, and sectional growth dynamics. MOSAIC, implemented in the chemistry version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF-Chem), is available in a stand-alone box-model format as well.
Part MC-MOSAIC is a combination of PNNL's MOSAIC and the stochastic aerosol dynamics model called "PartMC" from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. This model performs unique particle-resolved aerosol chemistry and microphysics.
Contact: Rahul Zaveri
Weather Research & Forecasting Model (WRF-Chem)
WRF-Chem is a version of Weather Research & Forecasting Model (WRF) that simulates the emission, turbulent mixing, transport, transformation, and fate of trace gases and aerosols. Modules for photochemistry, aerosol chemistry, and climate-relevant feedback processes developed by a team of PNNL scientists are included in the community WRF-Chem model. More...
Contact: Jerome Fast
Lower Atmosphere [+ expand/ - collapse]
Dispersion and Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) Modeling
PNNL develops models that account for the dominant processes governing atmospheric dispersion based on our extensive research experience in boundary layer meteorology, turbulence and atmospheric diffusion. We also develop algorithms for the proper treatment of the fate of airborne materials in atmospheric models through research in atmospheric chemistry, transformations, deposition and re-suspension. Meteorological and dispersion models are coupled to evaluate source-receptor relationships for non-proliferation investigations or reconstructing hazardous events for clean-up strategies.
Contact: Will Shaw
Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling
PNNL develops and maintains atmospheric dispersion models for emergency response, preparedness and other applications.
The Air Pollutant Graphical Modeling System (APGEMS) is a fast, user-friendly, three-dimensional model to estimate atmospheric dispersion and radiological consequences. It is a primary tool at the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Emergency Operations Center and is used by the State of Idaho for the Idaho National Laboratory site.
Contact: Cliff Glantz
DUST TRANsport (DUSTRAN) is a model developed to assess training and testing range contributions to local and regional particulate air quality, to help manage dust-generating events, and to help develop dust mitigation strategies. The model combines GIS information with atmospheric dispersion models and can apply to the release of any airborne material.
Contact: Will Shaw
Chemical Mixture Health Assessment Modeling
PNNL plays a key role in developing and maintaining the U.S. Department of Energy's chemical mixture methodology (CMM) . The CMM provides recommended default emergency exposure guidelines for environmental releases of airborne mixtures of chemicals. By examining the additive impact of each chemical, the CMM determines the potential impacts on an individual's ability to take effective protective actions. The CMM is used throughout the world for emergency planning and response.
Contact: Xiao-Ying Yu
Land Systems [+ expand/ - collapse]
Community Land Modeling (MOSART) incorporating water
MOSART provides computer simulations of the magnitude and timing of water flow through the landscape and into the ocean. Working in tandem with land and Earth systems models, it excels at simulating water flow at different scales and can simulate river dynamics, including variations in depth and the velocity of river flow.
Contact: Ruby Leung
Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) Model
A process-based agricultural systems model, EPIC is composed of simulation components for weather, hydrology, nutrient cycling, pesticide fate, tillage, crop growth, soil erosion, crop and soil management and economics. PNNL integrates sub-models for soil carbon dynamics and nitrogen cycling.
Contact: Allison Thomson
Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)
SWAT is a watershed to river-basin scale model used to simulate water quality and quantity and to predict the environmental impact of land use, land management practices and climate change. SWAT is a public domain model and PNNL contributes to development of soil, agricultural and bioenergy components of SWAT.
Contact: Xuesong Zhang
Regional and Global Earth Systems [+ expand/ - collapse]
Community Atmosphere Model (CAM)
CAM is a stand-alone global atmosphere model, jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, and developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), PNNL and other labs and universities for climate research. It also serves as the atmospheric component of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) (see below). PNNL led the development of the modal aerosol module and the representation of cloud-aerosol interactions for version 5 of CAM.
Community Earth System Model (CESM)
CESM is a fully-coupled Earth System model, including atmosphere, land, ocean and cryosphere. CESM models the global climate, providing state-of-the-art computer simulations of Earth’s past, present, and future climate states. PNNL provides broad and deep expertise in CESM and its atmospheric component, CAM. (see Community Atmosphere Model, CAM).
Contact: Phil Rasch
Multi-scale Modeling Framework (MMF)
PNNL developed an aerosol-climate model extension that embeds a cloud-resolving model within each grid column of a global climate model. The PNNL-MMF depicts aerosol-cloud interactions in both stratiform and convective clouds in a realistic way that is computationally lean for running multi-year climate simulations.
Weather Research & Forecasting Model (WRF)
The WRF Model is a next-generation meteorological model developed collaboratively among several agencies, including NOAA/NCEP, NOAA/ESRL, and NCAR. WRF allows researchers to simulate the atmosphere using observations or idealized atmospheric conditions. PNNL has experience using and extending the capabilities of WRF in multiple research endeavors.
Contact: Ruby Leung
Human Systems and Integrated Human-Earth System Models [+ expand/ - collapse]
Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM)
GCAM, developed at PNNL with support from the U.S. DOE, is a partial equilibrium model of the world and operates in five-year time steps from 1990 to 2095. Designed to examine long-term changes in the coupled energy, agriculture/land use, and climate system, GCAM includes a 151-region agriculture land-use module and a reduced form carbon cycle and climate module, in addition to its incorporation of demographics, resources, energy production and consumption. The model has been used extensively in U.S. and global climate assessment and modeling activities. More...
Contact: Leon Clarke
Phoenix is designed to answer economic questions related to international climate and energy policy and international trade. It is a global, dynamic recursive computable general equilibrium model that is solved in five-year time steps from 2005 through 2100 and divides the world into twenty-four regions. Phoenix replaces the Second Generation Model that was formerly used for general equilibrium analysis.
Contact: Leon Clarke
Platform for Regional Integrated Modeling and Analysis (PRIMA)
PRIMA is designed to simulate the complex interactions among climate, energy, water and land at decision-relevant spatial scales. Visit PRIMA’s website.
Contact: Ian Kraucunas
Vulnerability-Resilience Indicators Model (VRIM)
VRIM employs a set of proxy indicators to characterize the human capacity to cope with climate change and the level of sensitivity to such changes. Resilience components include the human resources, economic, and environmental capacity to adapt to changing conditions.
Contact: Richard Moss