FY 2008 NCAR Program Operating Plan by ekr11098


									               FY 2008 NCAR Program Operating Plan
Executive Summary

Advances in scientific understanding, Earth system modeling, and computational and
observational technology continue to shape Earth-system discoveries, and enhance society’s
ability to manage climate change, weather, and other aspects of system variability. Despite the
advances, some things remain the same – a single university often does not have the breadth of
technology, facilities, or cross-disciplinary capabilities that are often required to take full
advantage of today’s scientific advances.

Forty-five years ago, the National Science Foundation (NSF) identified a way to amend this
problem. It created a federally funded research center devoted to service, research and education
in the atmospheric and related sciences – the National Center for Atmospheric Research

NCAR exists as a link between the university community and the research resources they need.
In addition to providing tools and resources to the wider research community, NCAR scientists
have made important contributions to atmospheric and Earth system science. And, while
NCAR’s roots lie within the core disciplines of atmospheric science, over time, our programs
and related facilities and support systems have evolved – as have those of our university partners.
Today, NCAR takes an interdisciplinary approach, with the atmosphere and the Earth system as
a whole being the focus.

To best meet the needs of atmospheric and Earth science researchers, NCAR has created five
labs, each of which has a focus designed specifically to serve the wider community. These labs
are also designed such that they address NSF’s strategic goals of Discovery, Learning,
Infrastructure, and Stewardship. With frequent input from NSF, NCAR is advancing discovery,
innovation and education beyond the frontiers of current knowledge, and empowering future
generations in science and engineering.

NCAR’s labs include:

•   The Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL), which provides the
    community with high-performance computers, high-speed networks, a world-class data
    archiving and storage facility, research data sets, state-of-the-art knowledge environments
    and visualization technologies, advanced mathematical tools, and a staff of professionals
    dedicated to advancing Earth system science across broad fronts.
•   The Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL), which develops and deploys observing facilities,
    and provides data services that our research community needs to make the observations that
    are essential to our understanding of the world we live in.
•   The Earth and Sun Systems Laboratory (ESSL) research program addresses some of the
    complex scientific questions directly related to major environmental challenges the world is
    facing. ESSL’s research efforts – for example, building climate, weather, and other
    atmospheric and Earth system models – are pursued both in partnership with and on behalf of
    the wider scientific community.

•   NCAR’s Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) conducts directed research that
    contributes to the depth of fundamental scientific understanding, fosters the transfer of
    knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth, and supports technology
    transfer that expands the reach of atmospheric science.
•   The Societal-Environmental Research and Education (SERE) Laboratory promotes inter-
    and multi-disciplinary research activities, engages in human and institutional capacity
    building, and research related to climate/environment/ societal interactions. SERE also
    develops and sustains partnerships between NCAR scientists and our colleagues in
    universities and other institutions.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has shaped its FY 2008 program
operating plan to capitalize on recent scientific advances, and address the challenges they
engender, while continuing to provide first-rate scientific support, tools, and services to our
research and educational community.

NCAR is focusing on several key priorities in FY 2008, including continuing to update much-in-
demand community models such as the Community Climate System Model (CCSM), the
Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) model, and the Nested Regional Climate Model (NRCM),
among others. Additionally, since the recent publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change 4th Assessment Report (IPCC AR4), it has become clear that integrating
regional atmospheric research and research on environmental and societal impacts of weather
and climate must – and will – become a high priority.

In addition to the models we provide, our facilities and services are equally essential for enabling
the community to successfully pursue its scientific endeavors. Flight-ready as of FY 2007, the
NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V (GV) research aircraft helps NSF meet its goal of expanding the
nation’s research capability. The GV provides advanced instrumentation and tools that enable
ever-more sophisticated observational research. Use and evolution of the GV will continue in FY
2008. In collaboration with the atmospheric community, we will continue development of new
instrumentation that will provide a significant step forward in airborne measurement capabilities.

Affording our scientific community the supercomputing capacity and capability it has come to
expect into the future is another driving goal for FY 2008 and beyond. Throughout the years,
these services and support have provided the community with critical infrastructure that both
advanced the frontiers of knowledge, and aided fundamental and transformational science and
engineering research. However, meeting current and future user demand will soon require an
update of our aging supercomputer center. Finding the means to continue meeting community
computing needs will be a high priority.

The tools, facilities and services highlighted above, along with our other research and support
efforts, are described in detail in the following pages. Each NCAR laboratory provides an
overview of their FY 2008 plans, including plans, milestones, and expected outcomes.
Additionally, the labs have provided information on FY 2008 activities that are supported by
non-NSF base funds that enhance our base-funded work, key decisions that will impact their
efforts, as well as the challenges they expect to encounter in FY 2008 and major activities
expected to run in the longer term.

Planning and Decision Making

This program operating plan is based on a foundation of long-range planning and detailed review
of laboratory priorities. To guide decision making at a high, strategic level, NCAR develops –
with input from NSF and community partners - a strategic plan every five years that sets the
overall direction and priorities for the institution. Within this strategic framework, NCAR
performs an annual budget review of its operating program to ensure progress toward meeting
NCAR’s strategic goals.

The Annual Budget Review (ABR) process evaluates work done in each NCAR laboratory.
These reviews help set working budgets for the next fiscal year and planning targets for the
following year. This process was established to more proactively plan for a range of funding
possibilities and to anticipate problems well in advance of actual receipt of our operating funds.
Through the normal federal appropriations process, NCAR typically receives its final operating
budget late in the third quarter of each fiscal year. With a backlog in congressional
appropriations, it has become increasingly important to realistically plan for a range of budget
levels. This proactive process allows NCAR to more nimbly manage contingency planning
within an increasingly ambiguous funding environment.

Elements of this process include a review of each laboratory’s activities within the framework of
the NSF Merit Review Criteria to identify how these activities map with NCAR’s strategic plan.
This process provides a way to evaluate how effectively current research efforts and
accomplishments meet NCAR Strategic goals, helps the labs generate a two-year plan of action
for accomplishing these goals, and offers a way to produce longer-term, five-year plans. Lab
personnel are also asked to address how their research priorities will help achieve institutional
goals such as creating community facilities, fostering diversity, mentoring, cross-interdisciplinary
research, and integration of research and education.

Program Operating Plan for the Computational and Informational Systems
Laboratory (CISL)

CISL, a world leader in supercomputing and cyberinfrastructure, provides IT and
supercomputing services to more than 60 UCAR member universities, as well as NCAR, and the
larger geosciences community. CISL staff also perform basic and applied research in IT,
computational science, and mathematics.

CISL functions as an integrated laboratory where the IT and supercomputing leadership, the
director of IMAGe (Institute for Mathematics Applied to the Geosciences), and the lab
administrator sit as a council to refer options, develop plans, and agree on courses of action. In
addition, CISL section managers are consulted when planning is underway. Throughout the
CISL Council deliberations, council members seek input from section managers to get a closer
assessment of impact and alternate options. CISL refers to overarching priorities of the NCAR
Strategic Plan, and to the CISL Advisory Panel’s advice on both the computing facility and the
math institute. During the course of the year, retreats are used to focus on a broad range of issues
to incorporate into the decisions.

Providing computing services to the community remain CISL’s highest priority. In the long term,
CISL’s top concern is planning to secure the future of high-end computing for the atmospheric

sciences by developing and operating a replacement computing facility (NCAR Supercomputer

Enhancing the Capability and Capacity of NCAR Supercomputing
To meet its mandate of providing robust, accessible, and innovative information services and
tools, CISL is continually expanding and upgrading its networking, high-end computing, data
management infrastructure, and the related portfolio of services it provides to help achieve these
advances. CISL, along with the Earth and Sun Systems Laboratory, designs, develops, and
maintains community models, modeling frameworks, and data analysis and visualization tools
which are made openly available to the community. CISL/IMAGe staff also collaborate with the
                                                           community on research activities in
                                                           computational science, applied mathematics,
                                                           and geostatistics with the goal of developing
                                                           novel, improved techniques for attacking
                                                           these key scientific problems and providing
                                                           meaningful results for society.
                                                           Currently, however, the 40-year-old Mesa
                                                           Laboratory computing facility is straining to
                                                           support modern computers. Designed in an
                                                           age of expensive, low-power computers,
                                                           CISL now operates in an era of inexpensive,
                                                           high-power computers. This fundamental
  Figure 1. NCAR's BlueGene/L system, code-named         change is driven by both the IT revolution and
  "frost," requires a fraction of the power and space of trends in complementary metal–oxide–
  most production systems. The integration of frost      semiconductor (CMOS) technology. These
  brings the capacity of the TeraGrid to more than 250   realities are rapidly making the facility
  teraflops of computing capability and more than 30
                                                         obsolescent. In FY 2008, CISL hopes to make
  petabytes of online and archival data storage.
                                                         inroads on ameliorating this situation.

In FY 2008, CISL will continue to coordinate with NSF to complete the NCAR Supercomputer
Center (NSC) proposal process to re-establish the NSC in a new location.

    Milestones: Complete the supercomputing-center proposal and submit to NSF.

    Expected Outcome/Impact: If gaining NSF approval, NCAR will begin NSC construction
    in Cheyenne, Wyoming, utilizing significant funding from the State of Wyoming’s FY07
    appropriation process. The hallmark of supercomputing at NCAR has been provision of
    robust, reliable, effective, and efficient production computing, and state-of-the-art storage,
    data analysis, data visualization services and tools for the user community. With the NSC,
    CISL will be able to continue providing exceptional computing services to the research

Developing and Providing Advanced Services and Tools
As part of its mandate to provide supercomputing facilities and support, CISL increases the
computational capacity available to the community on a regular basis. Peripheral resources that
complement and supplement the high-end computing environment are upgraded and enhanced as
appropriate to match the growth in computing capacity. CISL’s FY 2008 plans include system
upgrades that will significantly grow computing capacity.

CISL will upgrade its existing power system, add to its mass storage system (MSS) library, and
deploy a Storage Area Network (SAN) in FY2008/2009.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): During FY 2008, an IBM POWER6 product
   will replace the existing IBM POWER5+ system. The IBM POWER6 system is expected to
   provide at least a 2.5-fold increase over FY 2007 levels. Also, at a minimum, another library
   must be added to the mass storage system (MSS) during both FY 2008 and FY 2009 to
   increase NCAR’s total archival storage capacity. We also plan to carefully examine MSS
   user policies and requirements, and then engage storage vendors to propose an overall
   solution to the MSS growth issues for 2008-2012 and perhaps beyond. Finally, CISL will
   deploy a large Storage Area Network within the supercomputing environment to provide
   users with the most effective and efficient methods of data management across the machines.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: Increased computational capacity will be made available to the
   community. Upgrading this system will keep CISL at or above the computing capacity goal
   outlined in the 2005-2009 SCD (now CISL) Strategic Plan. However, when installation of
   the POWER6 is complete, the NCAR Mesa Lab machine room will be within 10% of its
   operational power and cooling limits, and little can be done to increase computing capacity
   until the new facility is opened.

   Increased computational capacity at NCAR, as well as the demand from NCAR scientists to
   import data from external computational facilities and/or observational field projects, will
   create an increase in the demand for archival storage. Plans will be made to carefully map
   MSS needs and costs, and will be included in the NSC proposal.

Computer applications, applied math, statistics, and numerical methods aid scientists in refining
their understanding of the Earth system. CISL/IMAGe staff and scientists are making critical
research and development contributions in each of these areas.

Developing the Earth System Knowledge Environment (ESKE)
ESKE is envisioned as a collection of integrated software tools that enables and automates
scientific workflows, and, in so doing, dramatically increases scientific productivity and
opportunities for collaboration. Elements of an ESKE, such as data portals, frameworks, and
schemata, already exist within the community. ESKE will leverage, extend, and integrate these
efforts to create an environment that anticipates and expands patterns of scientific thought and
behavior. To accomplish this, tools must be automated so they can generate the response that an
individual otherwise would. Semantically enabling frameworks and models, by embedding
metadata within them, is a necessary precursor to such automation. This is also true for data
management systems and analysis and visualization tools. Besides accelerating scientific
progress, ESKE will allow a broader spectrum of communities to discover, understand and use
shared resources. ESKE aims to protect technology investment by evolving existing efforts to
create a future computing environment that is both knowledge-based and highly distributed.

ESKE will build on existing capabilities and partnerships, increasing level of integration between
each. As a core technology, CISL proposes to leverage the Community Data Portal (CDP), a
catalogue of datasets, IPCC analyses, model components, model applications, and frameworks,
etc. The CDP already serves as the common interface for a number of large-scale
cyberinfrastructure efforts, including the Earth System Grid (ESG), the Earth System Modeling
Framework (ESMF), the Earth System Curator, Program for Integrated Earth System Modeling
(PRISM), and MetaFOR (the last two are European initiatives), to develop tools and metadata for
the geosciences. CDP is a lightweight integrator which can assimilate many kinds of
information, in many formats, from many different sources, and can present them in a unified
way. It offers a variety of possibilities for extension and collaboration, which will be examined
in light of the following inputs.

•   Incorporate community input and explore shared management approaches. Workshops may
    be useful to initiate ESKE but are not sufficient. A community-focused organizational
    structure is critical to ensuring ongoing, collaborative decision-making and collective
    ownership. Based on experience with other community projects, key organizational functions
    are to 1) encourage distributed development, 2) enable day-to-day, routine communication
    amongst a global community, 3) make decisions based on direct community input using
    clearly defined processes, and 4) support regular interactions at the developer, manager, and
    program executive levels.
•   Recognize and preserve existing institutional mandates and project identities. ESKE must
    strive to interface with and support, not subsume, partner projects and organizations.
•   Use and develop strategic partnerships. Community efforts such as ESMF, The Global
    Organization for Earth System Science Portal (GO-ESSP) and PRISM have created large,
    open, communicative (via wiki, list serv, telecon, etc.) consortia that span many disciplines,
    countries, organizations, interests, and projects. Strategic partnerships may be chosen on the
    basis of an individual’s intellect or willingness to contribute labor, the need for support from
    a particular organization, or other factors. The intent is broad support for the effort, shared
    values and goals, and likelihood of use and impact for the product.
•   Identify highest impact deliverables. ESKE is intended to benefit a very broad community
    and advance national and international goals. Priorities need to be set with an awareness of
    what results will be transformative. It may be possible to deliver some of these results
    quickly, while others may require substantial investment to realize.
•   Phase implementation with exit points depending on resource availability. The objective is
    to manage risk by planning a series of incremental deliverables that offer increasing benefit.

    Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): The ESKE is at a conceptual/planning stage.
    The ESKE planning milestones for FY 2008 are:
    • Form an ESKE kickoff team at NCAR with a regular meeting schedule.
    • The role of this team will be to interface with the community to develop a set of ESKE
       partners, and to formulate with them an initiation strategy and governance model for the
       project. Here, we expect to leverage experience gained from interagency and
       international projects such as the Earth System Grid, the Earth System Modeling
       Framework, and PRISM.
    • The team will then develop a pilot project proposal for ESKE that clarifies the scope,
       definition, limitations and budgeting for an ESKE pilot project. The objective of the pilot
       project will focus on a tangible and impactful outcome that will further inform longer-
       range ESKE design plans.
    • This proposal will be used as a recruiting and funding vehicle both inside and outside

    The ESKE concept already forms a unifying vision for a number of ongoing project threads
    within the Technology Development Division in CISL. In FY 2008, precursor work for the
    ESKE will include using the CDP institutional repository capability to support strategic
    endeavors such as World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Information System,
   THORPEX Interactive Grand Global Ensemble (TIGGE), and national digital preservation
   efforts. We will continue to work toward unifying the underlying software cyberinfrastucture
   base of these projects wherever possible in order to harmonize technology across many
   different labs, projects, and agencies to avoid stove-piping and redundant efforts.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: The planning work for the ESKE in FY 2008 will help to
   develop the ESKE from a unifying strategic concept to one in which a focused pilot project is
   considered feasible. The methodology will help form and expand collaborative links
   necessary to achieve success.

TIGGE, an International Data Archive and Access System
TIGGE has international foundations in the WMO World Weather Research Programme and
THORPEX. THORPEX is a research and predictability experiment with the research leading to a
global interactive forecast system that is integrated across multiple (10) international NWP
centers. The TIGGE Archive supports scientists’ interest in this research. TIGGE has three
archive centers: ECMWF, CMA, and NCAR. NCAR is the only archive center that is not a data

TIGGE began with its first workshop that took place in March 2005 in Reading, U.K. Since
then, a series of TIGGE working group meetings have taken place, with the most recent
occurring in March 2007 in Beijing, China. These meetings were essential to establishing data
policies and requirements, and obtaining agreement from the 10 Numerical Weather Prediction
(NWP) centers to participate in, and arrange for targeted support of the International Polar Year
(IPY), and the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

In spite of this effort to achieve a high level of agreement, there are serious challenges in
supporting this archive. These challenges relate to anomalies between the different producing
centers in dimensions such as horizontal resolution, numbers of ensemble members, forecast
initialization times (1x, 2x, 4x daily), forecast length, number of fields provided, internal file
compression, and number of fields non-conforming to the technical agreements (as is the case
with NOAA’s NCEP). These anomalies represent challenges in building an archive that required
investment by NCAR/CISL above and beyond what was anticipated.

The TIGGE archive collection began on October 1, 2006. Currently, the European Center for
Medium range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), United Kingdom Meteorological Office
(UKMO), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), China Meteorological Administration (CMA),
and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) are active as data providers, with the
largest (139 GB/day) contribution coming from ECMWF. The archive currently grows at 203
GB/day, with more than 1,900 files/day archived that include more than 1 million fields/day. The
archive offers an online summary of data providers, as well as information about data volume,
parameters, and time series starting dates. Other centers are currently in test mode and expected
to come on line in calendar year 2007 or early 2008. These include the Korea Meteorological
Administration (KMA), Canadian Meteorology Centre (CMC), Centro de Investigaciones del
Mar y la Atmosfera (CPTEC), and MeteoFrance. The NCAR TIGGE Data Archive Portal was
activated for public access on December 8, 2006.

CISL supports NCAR TIGGE activities by purchasing hardware and absorbing operations into
the extant base-funded infrastructure. Data services require that we evaluate existing external

software and/or build new software for easier data selection and delivery, better tools, and data in
forms that scientists want.

New data center providers will be added to the archive as they come on line. All centers have
committed to being available sometime in calendar year 2007.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): The task list below is enumerated in priority
   order and derived with focus on provision of data to scientific users. Efforts are well
   underway for tasks 1-6 in 2007. FY 2008 focus will be on completing tasks 1-6 and working
   on tasks 7, 8a, and 8b with some initial collaborative efforts with ECMWF on task 11.

   1.  User support of current portal and archive.
   2.  Development of multi-center, multi-file streaming download from the portal.
   3.  Upgrade portal user interface to streamline data selection across the full archive.
   4.  Develop user metrics summaries for portal activities.
   5.  Add new data providers as they come online.
   6.  Support data requests for archive files that are offline.
   7.  Improve input completeness and user tools.
   8.  Develop parameter selection, interpolation, and regional selection capabilities.
       a. Software development for action on archive, parameter selection, re-gridding, and
          regional selection.
       b. Companion portal software development.
   9. Add subscription service for regular requests.
   10. Develop user initiated download for TIGGE files on the Mass Store.
   11. Develop common ECMWF, CMA, NCAR web services for automated requests.
   12. Continue development of data analysis tools.

   Planned output will be the completion of advanced subsetting features such as spatial, grid
   interpolation, and user selected output format (GRIB2 and NetCDF).

   Expected Outcome/Impact: Completion of this work for the TIGGE archive collection
   should allow for easier data selection and delivery, better tools, and data in forms that the
   scientific community needs.

Improving Geophysical Models through Applied Mathematics
IMAGe emphasizes the synergy between mathematical methods and models and the geosciences,
and pursues research that supports the interactions of the mathematics and geosciences
communities. It is comprised of both well-established programs at NCAR in turbulence and
statistics, along with more recent efforts in data assimilations and numerical algorithms. IMAGe
also has had a strong training component, supporting from four to six postdoctoral visiting
scientists. IMAGe’s Theme-of-the-Year (TOY), a central activity in this division, puts annual
focus on a particular area of the geosciences or applied mathematics that advances NCAR’s
scientific mission.

In FY 2008, computer-model analysis will be expanded.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): Our computer-model analysis will include:
   • A functional data statistical approach will be used to compare the thermosphere-
      ionosphere-electrodynamics general circulation model (TIE-GCM) climatology to
       observations with a functional data approach developed in combination with analysis of
       regional climate fields.
   •   The paleoclimate reconstruction problem will be cast as a hierarchical model and
       estimates using Monte Carlo/ensemble methods within the Data Assimilation Research
       Testbed (DART) framework.
   •   As a prototype for integrating direct satellite measurements (radiances) with atmospheric
       models, atmospheric carbon monoxide (CO) fields will be derived using the DART,
       MOPITT (Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere) data, and the Community
       Atmosphere Model (CAM) with chemistry additions.
   •   New time-stepping and conservative methods will be integrated in a research dynamical
       core for CAM and tested with physical parameterizations.
   •   The next TOY will be titled ‘Geophysical Turbulent Phenomena.’ Planned workshops in
       2008 include: 1) Observation and Experimentation; 2) Theoretical Methodology and
       Modeling; 3) Computational Methods, Scientific Computing and Visualization; and 4)
       Turbulence Summer School for cross-disciplinary training in mathematical,
       computational, atmospheric and ocean sciences.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: Model analysis and validation will strengthen model credibility
   and predictions.

Supporting and Conducting Integrated, Regional-scale Investigations of Climate and
Weather Impacts
Echoing the call from scientists worldwide, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) report noted that to better understand the impacts of climate change on societies,
researchers and decision makers require more detailed, regional-scale climate and weather data.
NCAR staff in several laboratories and divisions, including CISL and IMAGe, is working to
design models and provide the supporting computational capabilities and infrastructure that will
be able to meet this need.

The output of multi-model climate experiments such as those for the IPCC or the North
American Regional Climate Change Program (NARCCAP) poses unique statistical challenges
for synthesizing the results and quantifying uncertainty. The Geophysical Statistics Project and
the Institute for Study of Society and the Environment in collaboration with university
researchers is adapting new statistical methodology for summarizing this unique kind of data.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): In FY 2008, a functional analysis of variance
   (ANOVA) approach for regional model output will be extended to extreme statistics and will
   include a quantification of how extremes scale in space from point locations to global model
   grid cells.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: The analysis of model bias will be adapted to the NARCCAP

Cultivating Next-generation Computational Scientists
CISL’s Summer Internships in Parallel Computational Science (SIParCS) Program is a prototype
partnership between CISL and selected universities. It offers students a significant opportunity to
make a positive impact on the quality and diversity of the workforce needed to use and operate
21st century supercomputers.

SIParCS is aimed at students with a background in computational science, applied mathematics,
computer science, or the computational geosciences. The internships are 10 to 12 weeks in

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): SIParCS represents a broadening and
   formalization of CISL’s summer intern program. Implemented for the first time in summer
   2007, five university students were placed. The students worked with mentors from CISL’s
   Operations and Services Division, its Technology Development Division, and IMAGe.

   CISL places a high priority on these summer internships and will continue to develop the
   program in FY 2008. We plan to further broaden the candidate pool by running an open
   solicitation for all positions. In FY 2008, our budget for the visitor program will increase to
   maintain eight to ten summer intern positions across CISL. CISL also plans to further
   integrate visitor activities by including travel support for a carefully chosen number of
   visiting scientists.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: The program endeavors to provide opportunities for
   exceptional students to gain practical experience with a wide variety of parallel
   computational science problems by working with the HPC systems and applications related
   to NCAR’s Earth System science mission. Ultimately, SIParCS aspires to help address
   shortages of trained scientists and engineers capable of maintaining and using these high-end
   systems to achieve the goals of 21st century computational geoscience research.

NSF Special and Non-NSF Funding Supporting Computational Efforts
In addition to the core funds that NCAR and CISL receive from the National Science
Foundation, CISL receives outside funds to pursue research activities that complement its core
work. Among the examples, is funding from NASA, DOD, and NOAA for development and
deployment of the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF) in a diverse set of research and
operational climate, weather, and hydrological modeling systems. The ESMF is a software tool
for the composition of high-performance, extensible and interoperable codes for weather
prediction, climate simulations, and data assimilation. Additionally, FY 2008 will see the
completion of the Earth System Curator, a system that allows both models and datasets to be
stored and accessed from the same archive. NSF provided funding for this work, which unifies
the concepts and tools in the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF) with Earth System
Grid (ESG) efforts. The ESG effort is funded by DOE.

Key Funding Decisions for CISL in FY 2008
CISL’s goal is to maintain $5M per year for capital investment in high-end computing services.
Under current budget scenarios, a reduction in service and deferring equipment upgrades may be
required to meet this priority. The majority of the savings will come from deferring a planned
Data Archive Facility replacement. Upgrades are not recommended at this time because the
vendor recently discontinued the equipment. CISL proposes to acquire a used archival tape
library to provide minimal expansion of storage capacity and storage media available to users.
This acquisition will allow for a significant short-term savings to the CISL budget. A more
detailed discussion on additional actions is included in the confidential addendum to this plan.

Challenges and Opportunities for CISL in FY 2008
There is no shortage of challenges, particularly the uncertainties surrounding CISL’s transition to
a replacement computing facility. Future supercomputing systems will require CISL to purchase
and operate systems that will outstrip the power and cooling capacities of the existing Mesa
Laboratory facility. A proposal to locate a new facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming is currently being
developed. There is uncertainty related to the NSF approval process for this proposal. Long-term
planning in this environment demands our highest levels of focus, diplomacy, and technical

On the technology front, CISL has delayed further investment in the NCAR mass storage system
to maintain its level of service during the last three annual budget cycles. Now, however, end-of-
life is rapidly approaching for the current equipment (libraries and tape transports). Beyond
2010, the manufacturers will no longer support this equipment. The new data center requires
investment in a new mass storage system, but funding does not become available until 2011.
Therefore, CISL has a mass storage system that will be full before 2009, still needs to grow after
that, and does not have a funding stream to develop and build the replacement.

Longer-term Plans (2009-2012)
Supercomputing enhancements
   • Complete and begin operations of NCAR’s replacement supercomputing center.
   • Ensure seamless integration of NCAR and NSF high-performance computing
      cyberinfrastructure through mechanisms such as the TeraGrid.
   • Provide petascale computing, analysis, and storage capabilities and services to the
      atmospheric sciences community and other users.
   • Provide the user community with a next generation DART toolkit.
   • Contribute to definition and implementation of geosciences collaboratory.

Computer science/ applied math R&D, and ESKE efforts
  • Develop new computational science techniques that address the challenges arising from
     petascale computing, including application scalability, memory utilization and footprint,
     fault tolerance, and floating point performance.
  • Develop new numerical methods through targeted applied mathematics research, that
     address the challenges facing NCAR modeling efforts including mass conservation,
     monotonicity, shape preservation, simulation in complex geometries, adaptive mesh
     refinement, and time integration efficiency.
  • Develop statistical methods for analyzing properties of geophysical fluids.
  • Enhance the Community Data Portal and integrate it with new, high-level analysis and
     visualization tools to enable extraction of information from petascale data sets with
     minimal data movement.
  • Further develop the Earth System Modeling Framework and new tools and knowledge
     management services to enable easier assembly, execution, and specification of multi-
     component models.

Program Operating Plan for the Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL)

Observations of our atmosphere, Earth system, and Sun are the basis for many scientific
discoveries. The ability to make these observations is fundamental to meeting the science goals
of NSF, NCAR, and the community we serve. On behalf of NSF, NCAR develops and deploys
world-class ground, airborne, and space-borne observational facilities and services that range

from providing technical assistance on instrument deployment to the organization of field
campaigns with hundreds of participants in multiple locations.

NCAR’s Earth Observing Laboratory provides state-of-the-art atmospheric observing systems
and support services to the university-based research community for climate and weather
research. Among the many services and tools provided to our user community, is the exciting
NSF-owned GV (formerly known as HIAPER), the world's most advanced research aircraft.
EOL also operates the NSF/NCAR C-130 and a suite of airborne radars, lidars, and radiometers.
Among the many surface-based systems are several mobile radars, an eye-safe lidar, and a wide
variety of in situ instruments. In the paragraphs below, we will provide research and program
highlights that EOL plans on assisting with and running in FY 2008.

EOL’s planning and preparation for the Annual Budget Review included extensive discussions
with NSF/ATM, EOL’s Management Advisory Committee, and NCAR Management. Because
EOL’s primary mission is to provide world-class ground, airborne and observational facilities
and services to the scientific community, its overarching strategy is to avoid shutting down a
deployment pool supported observational platform while meeting EOL’s projected target. The
plans provided below are consistent with this strategy.

Enabling Innovative Field Experiments and Field Measurement Campaigns
The precision, robustness, and performance of weather, climate, and chemistry models depend
on sound theory as well as accurate observations and measurements. NCAR leadership in the
area of field-program planning and implementation is a critical community service, and we are
proud of our achievements in this area. Toward this end, EOL maintains a large suite of NSF-
funded, state-of-the-art Lower Atmospheric Observing Facilities (LAOF), which collect data that
will advance understanding of atmospheric and Earth processes in support of community

   Plans: EOL is developing a strategic partnership with Colorado State University to create a
   national radar facility. Both institutions support 10-cm, multiparameter Doppler radars,
   which will be jointly operated in this new partnership. The radars will be in continuous
   operation, and university students will be encouraged to propose small (less than 20-hour)
   projects for collecting thesis-related research data.

   Planning for new facilities should take place in the context of the entire suite of instruments
   available to the community and carried out in tandem with identifying facilities to be retired
   or replaced. In FY 2007, to aid this process, the NSF/NCAR Facilities Assessment Team
   developed an interactive database that links facilities’ users with EOL. In FY 2008, this
   database will be populated with descriptions of systems, platforms, networks, and emerging
   technologies. Using this database, community experts will provide input on new facilities
   needs, and can provide EOL with information regarding which facilities need to be retired,
   updated, or repaired. Already, the Facilities Assessment Team has begun soliciting input
   from the community, having community members submit information on instruments and
   facilities, or having them submit revisions to resources already included.

   To streamline this process, seven subcommittees met separately in May 2007 to review the
   information submitted so far. On September 27-28, 2007, NCAR held a more comprehensive
   community workshop immediately following the NSF Facilities Users Workshop. This
   follow-on workshop allowed EOL to gain community input on database and capabilities
   gaps. It is critical to continue a vigorous discussion of future needs and emerging
   technologies and opportunities. This will provide valuable input to NSF on future support for
   new facilities.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs):
   • Plans between NCAR and CSU will be formalized in preparation of the new National
      Radar Facility.
   • This interactive database will be supported on a website, becoming a public resource with
      routine updating during FY 2008.
   • EOL will support maintenance of the NSF Facilities Assessment website in FY 2008, FY
      2009, and thereafter.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: One of our goals for partnering with CSU is to create a national
   test bed that other institutes and agencies can use for research and education. The NSF/
   NCAR Facilities database is intended to provide descriptive information on atmospheric
   science facilities and instrumentation in a consistent, easy-to-read format as a resource for the
   broad atmospheric science and related communities. This database will enhance community
   awareness of both existing atmospheric facilities and of new and emerging facilities, and will
   be a valuable reference tool for other partners, including governmental agencies that need to
   utilize or share atmospheric science facilities.

Developing New Instrumentation
To ensure observational accuracy, the scientific instrumentation that EOL provides the research
community requires periodic updates and refurbishment, as well as development in certain cases.
EOL ensures that the required instrument updates and purchases happen.

Space limitations do not permit an extensive discussion of EOL’s development efforts in this
area. However, the following projects are moving forward: Compact Atmospheric Multi-species
Spectrometer (CAMS) for the GV, NO/NOy for the GV, SATCOM products for the GV, high-
precision carbon dioxide ratio instrument, high-efficiency waveguide Difference Frequency
Generation (DFG) instrument, and a water reference sounding system. See
http://www.eol.ucar.edu/tdf/status.html for more detailed instrumentation information.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): In FY 2008, ISF will continue to make
   important progress in developing the next-generation dropsonde, also referred to as the MIST
   sonde. This much smaller sonde unit will replace the bulkier dropsonde currently in use.
   Among other projects moving forward, driftsondes will be undergoing major developments
   in preparation for the proposed THORPEX Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC) in
   FY 2008. However, some funding to support this initiative was obtained from outside
   sources. For more information on T-PARC efforts, see the section titled: “NSF Special and
   Non-NSF Funding Supporting Observational Research Facilities and Services.”
   Expected Outcome/Impact: Providing our community with new and updated
   instrumentation, as well as support for these tools, will help these researchers achieve their
   science goals.

Installing the Initial Instrument Suite and Beginning Operations for the GV

A relatively new addition to
the suite of research tools that
NCAR provides the wider
science community, GV
instrument installation
continues in FY 2008.

Of the total $81.5M awarded
for the GV (formerly known
as HIAPER) project, $12.5M
was earmarked for the
HIAPER Airborne
Instrumentation Solicitation
(or HAIS) instrumentation
development. HAIS
development, testing, and use
will continue in FY 2008.
                                   Figure 2. This illustration shows a hypothetical plume and possible
                                   series of flight patterns during the PACDEX field project. When a
                                   major plume of dust and pollutants begins blowing off Asia, the G-
                                   V would fly from Boulder to Anchorage, where it would refuel, and
                                   then fly on to Yokota Air Base, Japan. It would then conduct a
                                   series of flights for about a week in and around the plume as the
                                   plume moves over the ocean to North America.

    Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs):
    • HAIS instrument testing is already scheduled for February 2008, but an additional test
       period will likely be needed in either late 2008 or early 2009. Awarded to and
       championed by a community PI, each HAIS instrument is designed to take detailed
       measurements of atmospheric properties. Among the instruments to be tested and
       scheduled for FY 2008 delivery are: the Quantum Cascade Laser Spectrometer (QCLS),
       Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (CIMS), High Spectral Resolution Lidar
       (HSRL), Three-view Cloud Particle Imager (3V-CPI), and GPS instruments will be
       delivered in 2008. The Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere (TOGA) Time-of-Flight
       Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (ToF-AMS) is scheduled for FY 2009 delivery.
    • To augment the number of total available external sensors and other monitoring
       equipment, EOL is working with Gulfstream to obtain certification of four additional
       pylons similar to the two installed for the PACific Dust EXperiment (PACDEX).
       Installation is planned for January 2008.
    • Development of the optical ports, which will allow for deployment of downward- and
       upward-looking remote sensing equipment, is intended to be complete in FY 2008, and
       EOL will conduct instrumentation and infrastructure upgrade tests in mid-FY 2008.
    • FY 2008 should see completion of the remaining electronic design, mechanical design,
       fabrication, and subsystem testing of the HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR). This airborne
       millimeter-wavelength radar will provide remote sensing capabilities to the GV aircraft.
       System integration will start in FY 2008 and culminate in FY 2009, with flight testing to
       be completed in mid-FY 2009.

    Expected Outcome/Impact: GV updates foster expansion of the research capabilities that
    EOL can provide to Earth system investigators. With these GV updates in place, researchers
   will be able to conduct vital studies in currently inaccessible regions of the Earth's

Investigating the Interactions of the Atmosphere, the Broader Earth System, and Human
In addition to supporting our external science community, NCAR staff and scientists sometimes
act as principal or co-investigators in the experiments that EOL supports.

HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) Campaign
In collaboration with NCAR scientists and investigators from Harvard, NOAA, and Scripps
Institution of Oceanography, EOL will conduct the HIPPO campaign which will investigate the
global carbon cycle using the GV.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): The HIPPO project will measure cross
   sections of atmospheric concentrations approximately pole-to-pole, from the surface to the
   tropopause, four to six times during different seasons over a 2.5 to 3-year period. A
   comprehensive suite of tracers of the Carbon Cycle and related species will be measured
   using the GV. The program will provide the first comprehensive, global survey of
   atmospheric trace gases, covering the full troposphere in all seasons and multiple years.
   Profiling flights will be conducted over North America in 2008, with five global loops
   scheduled to occur between 2009-2011.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: HIPPO will provide a global seasonal survey of atmospheric
   tracers important for carbon cycling and atmospheric chemistry. With this input, scientists
   will be able to improve their understanding of carbon and its interactions with other
   atmospheric chemicals. This information will improve basic human understanding of Earth
   processes, and can also be used to refine atmospheric chemistry, global circulation, and other
   Earth-system models.

PACific Dust EXperiment (PACDEX)
The PACDEX campaign, a pilot study that took place in the spring of 2007, focused on plumes
of airborne dust and pollutants that originate in Asia and journey to North America.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): PACDEX was designed to both demonstrate
   the unique capabilities of the GV and help researchers better understand the Eurasian-Pacific-
   North American dust plume, which is one of the most wide-spread and major pollution
   events on the planet. Analysis of samples collected from the Eurasian-Pacific-North
   American dust plume in an FY 2007 experiment will be a priority for EOL scientists in FY

   Expected Outcome/Impact: PACDEX has the potential to open new frontiers of science by
   observing human impacts on the mixed-phase and ice-phase cirrus cloud systems and
   examining how dust and soot modify storm tracks and cloud systems across the Pacific,
   thereby influencing North American weather patterns.

Terrain-influenced Monsoon Rainfall Experiment (TiMREX)
TiMREX is an approved joint U.S.-Taiwan, multi-agency field program that will be conducted in
the northern South China Sea, western coastal plain, and mountain slope regions of southern
   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): The goal of TiMREX is to improve
   understanding of the physical process associated with the terrain-influenced heavy
   precipitation systems and the monsoonal environment in which they are embedded through
   intensive observations, data assimilation, and numerical modeling studies. TiMREX will be
   conducted from 15 May to 30 June 2008, and will include use of NCAR/EOL’s S-band Dual
   Polarization Doppler Radar (S-Pol), a cost effective, state-of-the-art polarimetric weather

   Expected Outcome/Impact: Prediction of heavy rain events, such as those associated with
   typhoons and monsoon systems, help policy makers and government organizations in nations
   like Taiwain better prepare for impacts related to these events, such as urban flooding or
   debris flow. TiMREX will improve understanding of the physical process associated with
   terrain-influenced heavy precipitation systems and the monsoonal environment in which they
   are embedded, through intensive observations, data assimilation, and numerical modeling

Ice In Clouds Experiment (ICE-L)
The ICE-L campaign will use airborne measurements to study ice formation in clouds in
mountainous locations such as the Front Range of Colorado and Wyoming.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): The objective of the ICE-L experiment is to
   show that under given conditions, direct ice nucleation measurement(s) or other specific
   measurable characteristics of the aerosol, can be used to predict the number of ice particles
   forming by nucleation mechanisms in selected clouds. The NSF/NCAR C-130 and the
   Wyoming Cloud Radar will both be used to support this project during November and
   December 2007.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: Ice formation is one of the most basic processes leading to
   precipitation. The poorly understood processes of ice formation in clouds result in large
   uncertainties in our ability to model precipitation and to predict climate changes. This study
   should lead to a greater understanding of this process, which will allow progress in modeling

Regional Atmospheric Continuous CO2 Network in the Rocky Mountains (Rocky RACCOON)
EOL and TIIMES staff will continue operating the Regional Atmospheric Continuous CO2
Network in the Rocky Mountains (Rocky RACCOON) network of CO2 analyzers and
collaborate with University of Utah and University of Wisconsin to investigate regional carbon
cycling in the Rocky Mountains.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): A sixth Rocky RACCOON site will be
   installed on the Navajo Reservation in September, with a seventh scheduled for installation in
   Africa this fall/winter. Rocky RACCOON data will be included in the NOAA CarbonTracker
   system in FY 2008, as well as many other carbon-cycle analyses which are planned for FY
   2008 and beyond.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: Rocky RACCOON establishes a continuous CO2 observing
   network in the Rocky Mountains, building on technological and modeling advances made
   during the Airborne Carbon in the Mountains Experiment (ACME). This research will
   improve our understanding of regional carbon fluxes, and fill key gaps in the North
   American Carbon Program (NACP).

Developing Data Management Tools to support Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
In addition to providing and supporting instrumentation that helps scientists obtain critical
observational data, EOL also supports data packaging, storage, and management through the
EOL Metadata Database and Cyberinfrastructure (EMDAC).

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): In FY 2008 and FY 2009, NCAR will solicit
   community feedback in order to continue developing the EMDAC to meet user requirements
   and enhance current infrastructure to streamline overall internal data management activities.
   The efficacy of this effort will be assessed at the FY 2008 NSF Facilities Users Workshop.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: EMDAC updates will make it easier for EOL facilities to
   manage their datasets.

NSF Special and Non-NSF Funding Supporting Observational Research Facilities and
The Airborne Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System (AVAPS) is a key component of the
atmospheric measuring tool set found on board research and reconnaissance aircraft. NOAA is
funding EOL designers to develop a next-generation dropsonde to provide improved accuracy
and continuity of data to forecasters. Additionally, EOL will produce a pre-production run of the
new dropsonde for flight testing and design, and manufacture an upgraded aircraft data collection
system using modern technology expanding the capability of the current system, specifically for
the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) aircraft. Work in this area is developing EOL
expertise that is easily transferable to designing and supporting similar, NSF-funded research

Among the other projects moving forward, driftsondes will be undergoing major developments
in preparation for the proposed THORPEX Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC) in FY
2008. The driftsonde is core to achieving the scientific objectives of T-PARC, which is an
integral part of THORPEX. THORPEX is an international research and development program
responding to the weather related challenges of the 21st century to accelerate improvements in the
accuracy of 1-day to 2-week high impact weather forecasts for the benefit of society, the
economy, and environmental stewardship. In order for the driftsonde development to succeed,
external support was secured. Our efforts in this facility were also seen as critical in supporting
other endeavors of interest to EOL. The remote deployment of soundings using the driftsonde
would be needed to help develop the next-generation dropsonde system for the GV.

Key Funding Decisions for EOL in FY 2008
Within the target level proposed for EOL, concurrent aircraft operations and ELDORA
operations will be supported along with HAIS instrumentation support. A portion of this support
will be from the NCAR Directorate using one-time funds, pending permanent funding support
for HAIS. Areas that will see reduced support will include the non-deployment-supported REAL
facility and TDF development efforts. More detail is provided in a separate confidential
addendum to this program operating plan.

Challenges and Opportunities for EOL in FY 2008

Keeping EOL facilities well maintained with up-to-date technology and support is a challenge
within our funding environment.

In preparation for the annual budget review and the program operating plan, EOL requested
funding support for ISS-GAUSS ($266K), HAIS ($394K in FY 2008, and an additional $823K
in FY 2009), and S-Pol ($350K). As an interim step, NCAR will provide one-time funds from
reserves ($1,010K) to support these activities in FY 2008. In FY 2009, NCAR will fully fund
these activities through recurring base funds ($1,833K), either through target increases and/or
reprogramming within NCAR. Other challenges include:

•   Continued reduction in HIAPER major research equipment and facilities constructions
    (MREFC) funding support ~$550K.
•   Loss of outside funding support in RSF (~$300K from the NEXRAD program; ~$200K for
    hurricane and IT support).
•   Loss of indirect support based on the recent NCAR-wide indirect budget review.
•   Expiration of the GV warranty in FY 2008 with a replacement warranty costing
    approximately ~$150K/year.

EOL is currently certifying the wing pods on the GV. The extent of this task was unexpected and
has required reprogramming of contingency funds. Accordingly, funds to certify the large pods
in FY 2008 have not been identified at this time. In addition, lack of funding has also required us
to delay the cooling system upgrade until FY 2009. EOL is discussing how to arrange for the
continued involvement of the HAIS PIs with NSF. Some of these instruments are complex and
require expertise beyond that which EOL staff can provide. Finally, EOL has identified the need
to develop a new, automated dropsonde system that is capable of releasing new smaller sondes.

Should special funds become available from NSF, EOL sees additional opportunities for funding
of CAPRIS, Virtual Operations Center (VOC), and the Modular Profiling Network. EOL may
also host a scientist from the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic
Science (CUAHSI) for a one-year sabbatical position. This position will be funded jointly by
NCAR and CUAHSI. CUAHSI’s contribution is contingent on award of a pending proposal to
NSF. This scientist would advise CUAHSI investigators in the use of measurements, including
EOL’s observing facilities, as well as to advise EOL on measurements and measurement systems
needed to advance hydrologic research. EOL is excited about the possibilities that a CSU/NCAR
National Radar Facility could offer. Plans for establishing a reserve to support long-term
equipment replacement/upgrades have begun. It is our understanding that such an upgrade fund
is a first in the history of ATD/EOL.

Longer-term Plans (2009-2012)
Enabling innovative field experiments and measurement campaigns, & developing new
    • Improve coordination of instrument and facility developers and providers.
    • Complete development of the Adaptive Sensor Array (ASA) wireless mesh network
       communication system for deployment of low-power instruments in a variety of complex
    • Complete and begin operation of a one-meter-aperture coronagraph.
    • Explore new capabilities in advanced, ground-based and airborne remote sensing.
    • Contribute to the definition and development of new satellite missions to study space
       weather, lower atmosphere air quality, and “chemical weather.”
Effectively managing and operating the NSF/NCAR GV and C-130
    • Complete upgrade of C-130 avionics and install new instruments.
    • Use GV as a platform for the testing and evaluation of prototypes for space-based
    • Increase reserves for long-term equipment replacement/upgrades to $1.0M/year.

Program Operating Plan for the Earth and Sun Systems Laboratory (ESSL)

ESSL’s mission is to perform fundamental studies of the dynamics of the Earth and Sun Systems
across spatial and temporal scales, and to assess how natural forcings (e.g., solar variability), and
human-driven perturbations (e.g., chemical emissions, land-use changes) affect the evolution of
the Earth system and ultimately the habitability of our planet.

The ESSL ABR process included a series of meetings with strong coordination among directors,
deputy directors, and administrators. The first of these meetings was between the AD Office,
each division, and TIIMES. Within each meeting, ESSL focused on program priorities, budget
development and impacts, and future plans all in relation to ESSL’s “Strategic Directions 2007 –
2012” and NCAR’s strategic plan. The purpose of these meetings was to exchange information
in preparation for both the ESSL pre-ABR meeting and the ESSL ABR meeting that took place
with the NCAR Executive Committee.

Based on this planning process, ESSL’s long-term emphasis is an integrative approach to better
quantify forcings, responses and feedbacks in the Earth system, and to develop a predictive
capability, using elaborate numerical modeling systems. For FY 2008, seven priority themes
were identified and will receive special support within ESSL.

1. Climate projection, with emphasis on short-term prediction.
2. Biosphere-Atmosphere-Hydrosphere interactions and specifically development of
   BEACHON Project (Bio-hydro-atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon, Water,
   Organics and Nitrogen).
3. Water system research, specifically the development of the Society, Water, Atmosphere and
   Natural Systems Project (SWANS).
4. An advanced Weather Research and Forecasting system, specifically the development of the
   Hurricane Intensity and Forecasts (HiFi) Project.
5. Space Weather, specifically the development of the Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory
   Project (COSMO).
6. Chemical Weather, including interpretation of observed data gathered during the Megacity
   Impact on Regional and Global Environments (MIRAGE) campaign, and the development of
   a capability for chemical data monitoring and prediction.
7. Prediction across scales, specifically the development of an advanced next-generation,
   climate-weather modeling system and an integrated Earth system model of intermediate

These seven priority themes, which will involve direct partnerships with the university
community, contribute directly to the ESSL Strategic Vision and to several priority items of the
NCAR Strategic Plan.

Climate Projection with Emphasis on Short-term Prediction
Tied to NCAR’s strategic plan for developing community models for weather, climate,
atmospheric chemistry, and solar terrestrial research, FY 2008 efforts will be directed at
improving climate projection, development of advanced weather and forecasting systems, and
prediction across scales. This is a huge effort for NCAR and is conducted in partnership with
universities and other federal agencies. With the Community Climate System Model (CCSM),
the Weather Research Forecasting (WRF), the Whole-Atmosphere Community Climate Model
(WACCM), and several other community models in production, NCAR plays a critical role in
terms of effectively managing, supporting, and maintaining such models.

Improvements (e.g., the introduction of dynamic vegetation) to the CCSM model components
will be included with the release of CCSM4 in FY 2008. This will enable a new range of
scientific questions to be asked and answered by the CCSM including those related to complex
interactions among biota, chemical processes, and the climate system. ESSL scientists from
TIIMES/Biogeosciences (BGS) and Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD)/Terrestrial
groups will work toward a fully coupled global nitrogen cycle in CCSM – this will offer a
“flying leap” for nitrogen research. Additionally, all CCSM component model Working Groups
are actively exploring scientific avenues for reducing systematic biases in the coupled

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs):
   • FY 2008 CCSM Milestones are:
      o CCSM4 will be frozen and publicly released by June 2009. New components for the
          carbon cycle, land ice (in prognostic mode), and fully interactive atmospheric
          chemistry will be finalized.
      o In the atmosphere, scientists are quantitatively evaluating the sensitivity of the
          atmospheric simulation to biases in surface temperature, particularly over the ocean.
          This work will focus on identifying sensitivity at the process level.
      o Similarly, NCAR scientists are developing and exploiting short range deterministic
          forecast techniques to understand development of systematic errors in the
          atmosphere, again at the process level. In many cases, this work points to weaknesses
          in the formulation of deep convection and boundary layer processes.
      o NCAR scientists have been systematically exploring deficiencies in the CAM’s
          parameterized convection scheme and have improved its representation by modifying
          aspects of the underlying cloud model, and incorporating the process of momentum
          transport. Additional analysis of systematic errors introduced by this process will
      o NCAR scientists, in collaboration with a number of university colleagues, have been
          exploring details of the way in which boundary layer transfers are represented in the
          CAM. This work is aimed at a number of systematic simulation biases, including
          high-latitude surface temperature biases. Improving the treatment of the stable
          boundary layer has become, and continues to be a focus of this work.
      o NCAR scientists are also using high-resolution regional models to explore
          deficiencies in the representation of coastal upwelling processes in the global model.
          This work is expected to guide improvements to the global ocean model that will
         alleviate the severe eastern ocean surface temperature biases present in the coupled
       o The land surface modeling effort will focus on improving the land surface process
         model to improve deficiencies in soil moisture variability, as well as systematic
         biases in surface temperature.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: The U.S. research community – particularly those in the
   climate research community – relies upon NCAR to provide world-class models. Models of
   the physical climate and weather systems that are as robust and credible as possible are vital
   for the research conducted by the large community of investigators using CCSM and WRF.
   Toward this end, scientists in CCSM Working Groups are diligently working to remove, as
   much as possible, biases within each of the modules. Through ongoing refinement and
   improvements, CCSM and WRF efforts continue to drive NCAR’s leading-edge dynamics
   and predictability work.

   Major collaborators: A large number of universities, through the Climate System Modeling
   Scientific Steering Committee, and the different CCSM and WRF Working Groups.

Biosphere-Atmosphere-Hydrosphere Interactions and Specifically Development of
BEACHON Project (Bio-hydro-atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon,
Water, Organics and Nitrogen)
As is true in other NCAR labs, ESSL research strives to develop human understanding of the
interactions between the Earth’s various systems – atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and
cryosphere. In turn, NCAR scientists, and researchers within the community we support,
leverage this knowledge to further expand the range of societal-environmental options, choices,
and actions available to policy and decision makers, among others. These efforts relate back to
the research themes devoted to better understanding biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere
interactions, and water system research.

Among NCAR’s efforts to “investigate the interactions of the atmosphere, the broader Earth
system, and human society,” the BEACHON Project studies the impact of biogenic aerosols on
clouds and precipitation, and is especially focused on the links between carbon, nitrogen, and
water cycles.

The BEACHON project will continue to involve strong participation and input from NSF and the
scientific community, including representatives of biological research groups who have not yet
established partnerships with NCAR.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs):
   • In FY 2008, BEACHON will continue development of observational infrastructure. Part
      of this effort will include acquisition of a basic instrument suite, the first step to
      development of a BEACHON “super-site.”
   • ESSL (TIIMES) will convene a BEACHON “super-site” workshop to refine plans with
      its university partners and NCAR scientists from ESSL (ACD/CGD/ Mesoscale and
      Microscale Meteorology (MMM)), EOL, and RAL).

   Expected Outcome/Impact: These efforts will provide scientists with a better understanding
   of biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere interactions.

   Major collaborators: University of Texas, Austin, Harvard, University of California,
   Berkeley, Purdue and University of Michigan.

Water System Research, Specifically the Development of the Society, Water, Atmosphere,
and Natural Systems Project (SWANS)
SWANS is another effort that falls under NCAR’s strategic goal of investigating the interactions
of the atmosphere, the broader Earth system, and human society. Initiated jointly with SERE
(Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE), SWANS water systems will examine
the impact of climate change on snowpack changes in Western Colorado, and the resulting
effects on water resources and management. SWANS research efforts will move beyond
planning and into the execution phase in FY 2008.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): In FY 2008, SWANS focus will be on the
   Colorado Headwaters project, which addresses critical questions about the effect of climate
   change on snow, snowpack, and resulting water resources in the Colorado mountains.
   SWANS partners also include researchers from the University of Colorado and NOAA’s
   Western Water Assessment Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA).

   Expected Outcome/Impact: SWANS will foster integration of social, atmospheric, and
   other natural science elements to address pressing water science and water policy concerns.

An Advanced Weather Research and Forecasting System, Specifically Development of the
Hurricane Intensity and Forecasts (HiFi) Project

Among the plans for ARW and other
versions of WRF, is using experience
gained in the test trial of AHW
(Advanced Hurricane WRF) to develop
a next-generation AHW capable of
supporting a wide range of hurricane
research and development requirements.
Also, a particularly heavy requirement
will be the use of AHW in support of
major research and development
activities arising out of the HiFi
(Hurricane Intensity Forecasting and
Impacts Projection) program.

                                            Figure 3. The Beijing Olympics analysis and forecast
   Milestones (Targets &                  domain.
   • FY 2008 WRF milestones include:
      o Utilizing the latest ARW components in support of the short-range forecasting
          requirements of the Beijing Olympics.
      o Getting the ARW Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model for NCEP up and fully

       o Completing the 4DVar implementation and installing it for operational use at Air
         Force Weather Agency.
       o Finalizing the Global WRF and releasing it to the community.
       o Development of HiFi, a new project to better forecast hurricane intensity and
         structure will begin in FY 2008.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: These advances in developing the next-generation mesoscale
   forecast model and data-assimilation system will increase both the understanding and
   prediction of mesoscale weather, and accelerate the transfer of research advances into

Space Weather, Specifically the Development of the Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory
Project (COSMO)
When it comes to our space weather theme, ESSL’s High Altitude Observatory (HAO) is
responsible for – and does – run a comprehensive program. HAO efforts span from space
weather model development, to data analysis in the upper atmosphere, using ground- and space-
based observations. HAO’s modeling work ranges from looking at solar eruptive phenomena to
development of the Coupled Magnetosphere-Ionosphere-Thermosphere (CMIT) model. This
group also supports the Center for Space Weather Integrated Modeling (CISM) project, leading
the ionosphere-thermosphere thrust, and contributing extensively to coupled model development,
software engineering, and validation. In addition, HAO scientists both perform their own
research and serve the broader space weather modeling community – while it may go without
saying, serving the community well also requires that scientists maintain their own research

Solar observations can help create more realistic models of the corona and solar wind, which can
then be used as input to geospace models. However, scientists require a better understanding of,
and methods for measuring the behavior of the solar magnetic field in the corona, particularly
during coronal mass ejections, as it drives the interplanetary magnetic field and solar wind.

In addition to improving modeling efforts, HAO continues to strengthen its magnetospheric
research. In addition to promoting a recent staff addition to Scientist II, HAO is working closely
with the Societal-Environmental Research and Education Lab’s Advanced Study Program to
bring in senior sabbatical visitors. HAO’s Gang Lu, Art Richmond, and Wenbin Wang are
contributing to the advancement of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, and Stan Solomon has a
managerial responsibility through his role as a co-director of the CISM project, and as program
director of the NCAR Space Weather Strategic Partnership. And, Mike Wiltberger may be only
one scientist, but since his arrival in Boulder he continues to have a galvanic impact on the local
magnetospheric research community through his energy, persona, and service. All of this work
falls under NCAR’s strategic goal to explore solar processes, variability, and change.

Exploration in the area of space weather will focus on three key activities: simulation of natural
Earth system variability, research on magnetic-flux eruptions from the sun, and understanding
the effects of gravity waves, including the coupling between the upper troposphere and lower

     Figure 4. Alfvén waves observed in the solar corona by the Coronal Multichannel Polarimeter
     (CoMP). Left: Line-of-sight Doppler velocity filtered at 3.5 mHz. Right: 3.5 mHz phase speed.

Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): Among the efforts in this area:
• Solar physicists at NCAR, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Michigan,
   working with the HAO instrumentation group, are designing a new large coronagraph,
   the Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory (COSMO). HAO is continuing to develop
   COSMO prototype instruments, Coronal Multichannel Polarimeter (CoMP), and
   Prominence Magnetometer (ProMag). Once completed, COSMO will be fully accessible
   to the university community and gradually will complement or replace existing
   community facilities managed in Hawaii by HAO.
• In addition to its COSMO work, HAO will continue to perform data collection and
   verification process through the Coupling, Energetics, and Dynamics Atmosphere
   Regions (CEDAR) data base, and development of the Virtual Solar Terrestrial
   Observatory data service.
• NCAR’s flux-transport model of the solar interior dynamo will be used to better assess
   the mechanisms that determine the variability in solar output. This model will also be
   used to look at processes - and detect precursors – that drive sudden eruptions of
   magnetic flux into coronal mass ejections.
• Computer-generated data from the splitting flux rope model will be compared to
   observations by the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (MLSO) coronagraph to assess model
• New data from the Hinode satellite – which relies on instruments created by personnel at
   NCAR’s High Altitude Observatory (HAO) – will be used together with HAO ground-
   based observations to advance understanding of coronal heating and flux emergence
• Dan Baker, a visiting scientist from the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for
   Atmospheric and Space Physics, will spend part of FY 2008 at NCAR. Baker’s modeling
   expertise will support HAO’s efforts to refine large-scale models of the solar corona, the
   interplanetary medium, and planetary magnetosphere-ionosphere regions. HAO will
   continue to seek opportunities to grow its visiting scientist program through collaborative

       efforts, especially with the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center and with the
       University of Colorado.
   •   The CMIT model – a comprehensive community model that combines the Lyon-Fedder-
       Mobarry (LFM) magnetospheric MHD (Magneto Hydrodynamic) model with NCAR’s
       TIE-GCM – has been developed by HAO scientists in collaboration with university
       partners. HAO has taken on the major responsibility, and a significant leadership role, for
       geospace model development in the CISM program.
   •   In addition, HAO scientists and staff will continue performing data collection and
       verification processes through the CEDAR data base, and development of the Virtual
       Solar Terrestrial Observatory data service.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: Each of these efforts will aid space weather prediction and
   analysis. New scientific discoveries have already resulted due to CoMP breakthroughs; a
   facility that includes a large-aperture solar telescope is a compelling next step to advance
   research into the solar corona. The observational program emphasizes scientific community
   involvement, including an open data policy, student participation, and public access to
   scientific results.

   Growth of HAO’s visiting scientist, post-doc, and student assistant program is building more
   bridges and stronger collaboration between NCAR and the university community, scientific
   agencies, and other research and development centers. HAO will continue to seek to strike an
   appropriate balance between community model development, individual and group research,
   and visitor support.

   Major collaborators: University of Hawaii, University of Michigan, University of
   Colorado, and NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

Chemical Weather, including Interpretation of Observed Data gathered during the
Megacity Impact on Regional and Global Environments (MIRAGE) Campaign, and the
Development of a Capability for Chemical Data Monitoring and Prediction
Improving weather and climate predication capabilities is yet another area that spans across
NCAR’s five laboratories. In ESSL, this effort also extends across all five of its
divisions/institutes, with focus varying by division expertise, and many of its themes, including
chemical weather, space weather, climate projection, and weather system research.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs):
   • In FY 2008, ESSL’s Atmospheric Chemistry Division (ACD) will use data acquired from
      the Megacities Impact on Regional and Global Environment (MIRAGE) and
      Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment, Phase B2 (INTEX-B) Spring 2006
      period as part of their chemical weather case study. MIRAGE data analysis and
      interpretation is still in its earliest stages and is expected to continue over the next several
      years. A MIRAGE-centric conference session (Fall AGU, December 2007) and a journal
      special issue (ACP) are planned. The goal of the MIRAGE and INTEX-B programs is to
      characterize the chemical/physical transformations and the ultimate fate of pollutants –
      including gasses and aerosols – on regional and global air quality, ecosystems, and
   • In FY 2008, ACD will develop a detailed chemical weather case study. Modeling
      scenarios will be run on WRF-Chem, with focus being largely on Mexico and parts of the
      INTEX-B Pacific region. This effort will be followed by an assimilation of available
       satellite data sets including aerosol optical depths from the Terra and Aqua Moderate
       Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS); CO measurements from MOPITT;
       NO2 from Envisat’s Scanning, Imaging, Absorption Spectrometer (SCIAMACHY);
       NO2, and O3 tropospheric column data from the Aura Ozone Monitoring Instrument
       (OMI); and CO and O3 measurements from the Aura Tropospheric Emission
       Spectrometer (TES).
   •   Work has begun on the next Upper Troposphere/Lower Stratosphere (UTLS) GV project
       (START08), and will continue in FY 2008. Several universities and agencies are
       contributing to this project, including Harvard, University of Colorado, NOAA, and
       Texas A&M. With the START08 proposal approved by NSF, research is expected to
       begin in April 2008.
   •   Providing scientists with a comprehensive study of the coupled mountain-wave, rotor,
       and boundary-layer system, the terrain-induced Rotor Experiment (T-REX) data analyses
       will continue into 2008.
   •   Also, plans will be initiated for a large field campaign over the continental United States
       in 2010, focusing on Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3). Here again, strong
       partnerships with universities are being developed.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: All of these research efforts will provide scientists with
   information that can be used to better understand Earth and Sun interactions and variability.
   ACD’s chemical weather study will help researchers and policy makers quantify the wider
   impact of local pollution sources – for example, from wildfires or mega-cities – and assess
   the contribution of transported pollution to the atmosphere. Once MIRAGE analysis, model
   simulation and evaluation (both process-level and 3D chemistry-transport models) are
   complete, a rich data set will be openly available to our research community. Lastly, the
   START08, a project that will include a relatively wide swathe of the science community,
   including those studying atmospheric chemistry and the large-scale dynamics field, will
   investigate transport processes that affect the chemical-microphysical distribution of the
   extratropical UTLS. Since transport processes dominate the chemical distributions and
   microphysical conditions in the UTLS, START08 will improve understanding of chemistry
   and microphysics in this region by developing effective observational and modeling tools for
   characterizing major transport influences. START08 will take advantage of the capabilities
   of GV, which can fly at the ideal altitude and range for sampling the ExUTLS.

   Major collaborators: MIRAGE – 16 universities, 30 Mexican institutes and universities, 10
   European and Japanese universities.

Prediction Across Scales, Specifically the Development of an Advanced Next-generation,
Climate-Weather Modeling System and an Integrated Earth System Model of Intermediate
Global change has been a scientific research topic for more than two decades, and the scientific
community has done a tremendous job to serve, analyze and predict the evolution of the Earth
system. Models that describe the climate and biogeochemical systems have been developed and
are used widely. The past many years of intensive research have highlighted the existence of
couplings and feedback processes between the different “spheres” (atmosphere, land, ocean, etc.)
of the Earth system. Any attempt to predict the evolution of the planet at a long time scale must
take these feedbacks into account. Using a CCSM-like management structure, NCAR and our
scientific partners will collaborate on developing a community Earth System Model (ESM).

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): In FY 2008, ESSL will begin its plan to adopt
   two parallel approaches to creating the ESM. Achieving this goal requires two parallel
   approaches–creating a roadmap for developing a next-generation “Weather Climate Model,”
   and crafting a model of intermediate complexity and low spatial resolution to capture
   increased numbers of processes, couplings and feedbacks, and accounts for relations between
   natural and social processes.
   Expected Outcome/Impact: In this ongoing work, the first task will be to define the type of
   problems to be addressed and the scientific questions to be considered using the ESM. This
   will be done in concert with university and agency partners.

NSF Special and Non-NSF Funding Supporting Earth and Sun System Research and
Some ESSL research projects that have received significant financial support from non-NSF
sources include the work ACD scientists are doing to support validation activities for the NCAR-
based Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) instrument. ACD is
deploying solar radiation measurement instrumentation from the NASA WB-57 aircraft to
determine ozone column abundance. In addition, the determination of atmospheric photolysis
frequencies will help provide understanding of the chemical fates of short-lived compounds
transported from the tropical boundary layer into the tropical tropopause. This work will also
support future NCAR programs on the GV aircraft.

CGD’s scientists are using NASA funding to enhance the Community Atmosphere Model 3
(CAM3)/Community Climate System Model 4 (CCSM4). This work will allow a quantitative
evaluation of the cloud and water vapor simulation, which will hopefully lead to improvements
to parameterized physical processes that regulate Earth’s water budget.

Key Funding Decisions for ESSL in FY 2008
In achieving its goals, ESSL and NCAR have proposed an augmentation to support work on the
next-generation Earth system model. In FY 2008, these funds will come from an internal
reallocation within ESSL and contributions from the NCAR Directorate for a total of $1M in FY
2008. A comprehensive list of proposed actions to balance ESSL’s budget within these priorities
is provided in a separate confidential addendum to NSF.

Challenges and Opportunities for ESSL in FY 2008
With funding constraints resulting in the emphasis on community facilities, ESSL has identified
several particular areas of concern that it is prepared to work on in FY 2008 and beyond. Among
these challenges:
• The need to optimize the ratio between labor and non-labor costs, and to recreate flexibility
    in the budget.
• The need to replace lost support staff reductions in the model development arena, a
    prerequisite to increasing our efforts toward an Earth system model.
• Ensuring the correct balance of community model support and frontier research.
• Fulfilling the ESSL commitment to its strategic objectives, and specifically to maintain the
    HAO, ACD, and CGD programs at the cutting edge after the departure (and retirement) of
    prominent scientists and senior staff.
• The need for a substantial increase in computer power and data storage to support scientific

Among our opportunities:
• Our proposal activity is increasing, vying for more competitive outside funds provides
  opportunities to partner with the community and enhance our programs while addressing
  sponsor’s needs.
• An aging facility at MLSO provides an opportunity for us to plan to upgrade capabilities.
• The need to pursue new strategic initiatives together with strong basic research.
• The need for diversity at all levels and in all categories of activities.

Longer-term Plans (2009-2012)
Model development
   • Development of the Earth System Model (ESM).
   • Evaluation and inter-comparison to ESM to other Earth system models.
   • Continued improvements to WRF, CCSM, NRCM and WACCM, including improved
      compatibility with U.S. and European Earth systems modeling frameworks. For NRCM,
      plans are to expand beyond the weather to climate perspective to include terrestrial and
      ocean dynamics, biogeochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, and their interactions, as well
      as the impact of solar physics and its impact on the dynamics of the upper atmosphere.
   • Improved near-term climate prediction and global weather prediction.
   • Investigation of impact of upscale development from tropical convection on modes of
      tropical variability in climate models.

Scientific exploration and investigation
    • Simulation-based prediction of duration and intensity of hurricane seasons.
    • Drought prediction.
    • New simulations for the IPCC AR5.
    • Investigation of climate, chemistry, and human health interactions in megacities.
    • Analysis of representation of water cycle in global and regional climate models.
    • Improved parameterization of atmospheric convection, clouds, and land-air interactions.
    • Simulation of climate-water cycle-landscape-biogeochemistry interactions.
    • Observation- and modeling-base investigation of the effects of gravity waves on a range
        of weather and climate phenomena.
    • Investigation of the interactions of climate change, climate variability, and extreme
    • Complete and begin operation of a one-meter-aperture coronagraph.

Program Operating Plan for the Research Applications Laboratory (RAL)
The mission of NCAR’s Research Applications Laboratory is to conduct directed research that
contributes to the depth of fundamental scientific understanding, to foster the transfer of
knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth, and to support technology transfer
that expands the reach of atmospheric science.

Investigating Weather and Climate Information Needs and Decision Making
Weather affects all economic sectors, regions, and individuals. Improved weather forecasts – and
better use of current forecasts – could provide any number of societal enhancements, including

improved personal safety, reduced property damage, and increased economic efficiency, as well
as saving multiple lives and millions of dollars annually. If we are to realize the potential
benefits associated with improved weather forecasts, we must understand how individuals and
socioeconomic sectors do and could use different types of weather information. Yet, few
assessments of the benefits of weather information have been performed, and much of the
knowledge available on the use and value of weather information is difficult to locate and utilize.

To address this need, NCAR, with funding from NSF and the U.S. Weather Research Program,
established the Collaborative Program on the Societal Impacts and Economic Benefits of
Weather Information (SIP) to create a dedicated focal point for assembling, coordinating,
developing, and synthesizing research and information on the societal impacts and economic
benefits of weather information.

In FY 2008, RAL’s Societal Impacts Program (SIP) will continue its focus on estimating the
benefits of improved weather information for the transportation and energy sectors.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs):
   • In FY 2008, RAL staff will prepare a primer on the economics of weather and weather
      forecasting for NOAA personnel, which will assist decision makers and analysts in
      National Hydrometeorogical Services (NMHS) to better understand the purpose and
      methods of economic analysis as it relates to hydrometeorological services.
   • Data collected from a national survey designed to assess how the public interprets
      weather forecasts and probability information will be analyzed, and results will be used to
      develop methods to improve how weather uncertainty is conveyed by government and
      related agencies to the public.
   • Scientists will work on wider-scale deployment of RAL’s distributed hydrological
      modeling system, Noah, with the goal of creating a national product that facilitates real-
      time water resources assessment and forecasting in the 2010-2012 timeframe.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: RAL’s Societal Impacts Program and other climate- and
   weather-related research efforts aid decision makers and inform society as a whole.

RAL’s Contribution to Developing NCAR’s Community Models
RAL staff is closely involved in many of NCAR’s community modeling efforts. The RAL team
has – and continues to – transform these research applications, morphing them into solutions that
address real-time, real-world issues. Plans for FY 2008 include ongoing testing and refinement
of WRF capabilities.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): A key component of the WRF system is
   RAL’s Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) and the newly established Data Assimilation
   Test Center (DATC), which provides an environment for the objective testing and evaluation
   of state-of-the-art data assimilation techniques. In FY 2008, the DTC will compare the
   performance of the two WRF dynamic cores at longer lead times and higher resolutions.
   Also, based on information gleaned from the Summer 2007 WRF Tutorial, which covered
   both the ARW and NMM dynamic cores, further DTC and DATC testing will shed light on
   whether it will be possible to transfer lessons learned from one dynamic core to the other.
   This transition is the next step in the process of establishing the WRF code as a system with
   options. The final step in designing the joint Winter 2008 WRF Tutorial will be to combine
   ARW and NMM documentation for tutorial attendees.
   Expected Outcome/Impact: These centers – in FY 2008 and beyond – provide an excellent
   way of independently evaluating the pros and cons of various configurations.

Building Capacity for Coping with Weather and Climate Hazards
As part of their technology transfer work, RAL ensures that end users have all the background
and operational information required to help them make the most of the models and applications
that RAL creates.

RAL’s FY 2008 plans include developing and testing next-generation numerical forecast
systems, and adding a space weather component to its suite of data ingest and display products.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs): The DTC will establish a testing framework
   for evaluating codes for inclusion in the Reference Code, which is the heart of the WRF
   system in FY 2008. The DTC will also provide baseline tests, including verification statistics
   for Reference Code, which can be used by researchers in evaluating new codes.

   RAL will begin development of a Weather Data Translator (WDT) that will be able to parse,
   quality control, and generate weather and road condition analysis and prediction products.
   WDT testing is expected to occur in Fall 2007. RAL will also develop new concepts for
   decision-support systems for traffic, incident, and emergency management operations,
   maintenance, and construction.

   RAL scientists have also recently begun work on a new NASA program aimed at improving
   forecasts of weather in the upper atmosphere, which may help identify potential health and
   safety hazards for flights over polar routes and warn flights of possible loss of satellite
   communications. In 2008-2009, RAL and NASA plan to create an initial product that will
   detail the total electron content of the upper atmosphere and a second product that will
   provide a human exposure index to help gauge the effect of solar flares on flight crews. Both
   products will be displayed on RAL's Experimental Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS)
   site where their usefulness can be evaluated by the aviation community.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: Transfer of research technology takes the best research results
   and transforms them into tools and systems that benefit society.

NSF Special and Non-NSF Funding Supporting Technology Transfer
Much of RAL’s funding comes from non-NSF sources. However, the benefits of the work done
for entities such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Department of Defense, state
and foreign governments, etc. directly benefit NSF-funded work done by RAL staff. Research
insights gained from designing and implementing short-term weather models and multi-scale
models of atmospheric phenomena feed into development and updates to the WRF model.

For instance, RAL and MMM worked closely with the U.S. Central Weather Bureau (CWB) and
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) to transition their mesoscale modeling capabilities from
MM5 (Mesoscale Model 5) to WRF, and will have WRF act as the primary source of weather
prediction data. A significant amount of work has been accomplished to ensure a smooth
transition from MM5 to WRF, including refinement of all downstream systems and aviation
weather products (e.g., icing, turbulence, etc.) to handle the new WRF data stream. The new
WRF-based system will become operational in September 2007.
Key Funding Decisions for RAL in FY 2008
Priority areas supported from base funds are the Developmental Testbed Center as part of the
Weather Research Forecast Model development, the Societal Impacts Program, short-term
weather forecasting, and other activities related to fire modeling and Dynamic Integrated
Forecast (DICast) technology. A 3% augmentation of $27K is proposed for society/weather
research. RAL expects no base impacts within the funding scenario since most of its funding
comes from non-NSF sources.

Challenges and Opportunities for RAL in FY 2008
The following areas describe potential opportunities for the RAL program:

Agricultural Applications: RAL applications could benefit prediction of soil conditions for
large-scale farms; newly created tools and systems could support decisions surrounding
irrigation, herbicide selection and timing, fertilizer usage, and perhaps seed selection.

Air Quality: Mesoscale-modeling technology could be used for operational prediction of air
quality, as well as for assessing the impact on human health and the environment of new sources
of pollution.

Aviation: A re-alignment within FAA may lead to a shift from the traditional focus of more
fundamental forecasting research toward a focus on how to more effectively use forecasting
information to make better decisions.

Capacity Building: Modernizing infrastructure and building human capacity in installation of
modern NWP systems in Ghana and Israel; providing guidance on the operation and
maintenance of weather radars in West Africa; and assessing the infrastructure and capabilities
of the national weather service in Saudi Arabia.

Climate Applications: Working with CGD, we plan to rapidly develop the capability to link
CFDDA (Climate Four Dimensional Data Assimilation) with CCSM IPCC-scenario output in
order to estimate the regional impact of future climate on water supply and other threats to

Energy and Climate: The energy industry is particularly interested in understanding the impact
of climate change on its operations, given the long timeframe for bringing new generation
capacity on-line. There is an opportunity here to provide localized information (downscaled to
their respective demand centers) that could help energy industry personnel determine future
energy needs based on a warmer or cooler climate. The impact of changed precipitation patterns
on hydroelectric power providers is also of concern.

Offshore Oil Operations: Members of this industry (e.g., American Petroleum Institute,
Chevron, etc.) are looking for better real-time weather models to drive their ocean behavior
models, greater understanding of hurricane intensity, better resolution of wind fields, and
improved forecasts of wave height. They would also like to use AHW ensembles coupled with
ocean models to develop a “PDF” of risk factors.

Improving Communication of Uncertainty: After the recent release of an NRC report on this
topic, NOAA asked the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Commission on the Climate
and Weather Enterprise to help NOAA define a new initiative to improve its methods of
communicating uncertainty. There will likely be an opportunity to participate in this new NOAA

Societal Impacts Program: Policy makers require guidance on the economic impacts of
improved weather information. NOAA is interested in improving the way risk is communicated,
and emergency managers are eager to assess human behavior during extreme weather events.
RAL, working closely with the Societal-Environmental Research and Education Lab, is well-
positioned to take advantage of new funding opportunities in this arena.

Surface Transportation: Opportunities for developing methods and techniques for utilizing
data gathered from 300 million vehicles are emerging. Leveraging this information will allow
RAL to improve weather and road condition analyses and predictions. Industry will need very
high-resolution weather information as content for these in-vehicle systems, which requires
research in data analysis, assimilation, modeling, human factors, and system engineering.

Longer-term Plans (2009-2012)
   • RAL scientists continue to pursue the long-term goal of installing the refractivity
      technique on the nation's NEXRAD radars.
   • RAL will work to improve the explicit prediction of fire behavior and the coupling of fire
      behavior models with operational fire decision support systems.
   • The goal is to extend work currently begun on understanding boundary-layer processes in
      urban-coastal zones, with new sponsors, to include not only atmospheric and land-surface
      processes, but also coastal ocean circulations and wave-generation.
   • Wider-scale deployment of RAL’s distributed hydrological modeling system, Noah, will
      occur, with the ambition of creating a national product in the 2010-2012 timeframe.
   • RAL SIP efforts will focus on building capacity within the atmospheric science
      community through education and training on the conduct of social science and economic
      studies; conducting economic benefit studies across multiple sectors to better understand
      the value of improved weather information; and coordinating social science and
      economic research across the national and international community.
   • The DTC will eventually add a capability to provide ensemble forecasting systems and
      the capability to provide global forecast models to the community.
   • RAL hopes to extend our applications to RAL collaborations that depend on state-of-the-
      art data assimilation. The DATC will also work towards providing community support
      for advanced data assimilation systems through extended documentation, tutorials, and
      visitor programs.
   • RAL will continue to lead development of ensemble-forecasting systems at fine scales,
      develop cutting-edge systems such as the Kalman Filter based 1-D column model, VLAS,
      etc., and apply these at a national scale.
   • Work will continue on the development of methods and techniques for generating
      probabilistic output and assessing the optimal number of predictors. Forecast system
      methods and techniques that improve weather prediction capabilities by taking advantage
      of ensemble modeling and probabilistic results will be developed. Efforts to ensure more
      effective communication of uncertainty will be emphasized.
   • New areas of work may include validation of satellite observations using the Method for
      Object-based Diagnostic Evaluation (MODE) or other tools and the application to
      infrastructure forecasts. Given adequate support, a program on User-Focused Verification

       will be implemented and applied to a variety of types of forecasts, such as the global and
       mesoscale ensemble forecasts produced for THORPEX and other programs.

Program Operating Plan for the Societal-Environmental Research and
Education Laboratory (SERE)

The NCAR Societal-Environmental Research and Education (SERE) Laboratory is responsible
for overall leadership in the definition, planning, and execution of NCAR research on human-
environmental-societal interactions; appropriate social science and humanities components for
NCAR research, education and capacity building; and societal and policy-relevant information
products and services. Capacity building, in the context of SERE, fosters development and
judicious use of knowledge by stakeholders, decision makers, interdisciplinary and
multidisciplinary scientists, and undergraduate and postdoctoral students. It also works to
increase the ability of those in the weather- and climate-impacts communities to perform
research needed to aid in developing the resilience of society to extreme, and creeping weather
and climate changes.

The four Strategic Directions of the SERE Laboratory are:

•   Build capacity required to ensure resilient communities.
•   Develop the Societal Resilience System of Systems (SRSS) conceptual framework, identify
    its strategic partners, and define its guiding questions.
•   Employ climate, water, and weather data and information in the development of decision
    processes and assessment tools.
•   Design and implement educational programs that create a scientifically literate and engaged
    workforce, as well as the diversity of scientific excellence required to advance the systems
    within SRSS and the science of NCAR.

Creating a Societal Resilience System of Systems
The interface between atmospheric processes and human wellbeing is mediated through a
multifaceted array of natural and societal systems. To characterize, understand and predict the
behavior of these interconnected systems, there is a pressing need to further build capacity and
develop a conceptual framework, which will guide analyses and inter-comparisons of case
studies that detail examples and counterexamples of societal resilience to changes in climate,
weather, and water resources. This framework includes Earth System Modeling.

To ensure a resilient society, one that is prepared to cope with and mitigate against climate,
water, and weather uncertainties, research is required to understand the complexities of
interactions. This understanding requires leadership in the development of a “societal resilience
system of systems” framework that will begin to unravel the complex interactions among the
myriad contributors within and across the systems involved. These systems include, but are not
limited to the areas of agriculture, health, water, energy, climate, weather, coastal, urban,
ecosystems, economic, land use, and public safety. To facilitate creation of such a system, the
SERE Laboratory will focus its research, capacity building, and educational initiatives toward
advancing the four SERE strategic directions earlier defined.

Leveraging Science to Aid Decision Making Processes
SERE scientists examine the cross-disciplinary societal challenges related to climate, water, and
weather science, and explore viable solutions to these challenges, which face local, regional,
national, and global communities. Thirty-one percent of SERE’s budget is used to pursue this

SRSS framework development will be a central focus of FY 2008, as will a number of programs
that explore ways to facilitate decision making at the intersection of societal and physical science

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs):
   • SRSS framework development will include identifying strategic partners, running an
      SRSS workshop, and developing a regionally based proof-of-concept case study. These
      efforts will guide collaborations and inform SERE as to how to best proceed with SRSS
      in FY 2008 and beyond. Current partners include the Office of the Federal Coordinator
      for Meteorology, NOAA’s Coastal Services Center, and a number of other university,
      agency and governmental organizations.
   • Another FY 2008 focus will be to study the impacts of air pollution, heat waves, and
      production of greenhouse gases in urban areas (including U.S. and Latin American cities
      such as Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Chicago). Included in this effort will be
      completion of WRF-Chem model runs for Mexico City and Los Angeles as part of the
      Future Urban Human Health Project, which investigates the influence of climate change
      and weather on human health. Results from this case study will improve understanding of
      the variability of weather/pollution over two urban cities. This knowledge can then be
      extended to other cities and regions, and can help researchers characterize a hierarchy of
      types of cities and define land-use and emissions scenarios for numerical models of
      climate and weather predictions. Partners include several U.S. universities, the Inter-
      American Institute (IAI), and Mexican scientists.
   • As part of the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program, a series
      of probabilistic, bivariate models will be formulated to estimate uncertainty in future
      regional temperature, and precipitation profiles will be developed. Partners include U.S.
      university collaborators, and the RAND Corporation.
   • SERE/ISSE with ESSL will launch the SWANS effort in FY 2008. For details see
      ESSL’s SWANS theme above.
   • Work with RAL to develop methods for incorporating information about uncertainty of
      climate change into water utility planning, and develop decision support protocols from
      this information. Partners include the RAND Corporation and water managers from
      various U.S. regions.
   • Develop a “Lessons Learned about Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina” conference
      to identify why lessons from disasters are often identified but not necessarily applied to
      avert similar impacts in the future.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: SERE will bridge the gap between scientific and societal needs,
   by generating and increasing access by decision makers to vetted, peer-reviewed information
   that examines a coupled human and natural systems’ understanding of environmental issues.

Engaging a Broader and more Diverse Community in the Atmospheric and Geosciences
All of the laboratories within NCAR play a role in cultivating a world-class, broadly inclusive
science and engineering workforce, including dissemination of scientific information to the
public, K-12 students, decision makers, undergraduates, and young researchers. In many ways,
however, SERE staff is specifically tasked with carrying out much of this effort, and,
accordingly, allocates 29 percent of its budget toward this end.

The Advanced Study Program (ASP) leads SERE’s effort to support and develop the capabilities
and proficiencies of young scientists. ASP partners both with the external community and with
NCAR laboratories, divisions, and institutes to accomplish these objectives.

SERE’s Center for Capacity Building (CCB) also contributes to this effort, developing climate,
water, and weather science programs designed to educate undergraduates. CCB also informs and
educates decision and policy makers worldwide, focusing much of its energies on providing
information on climate, weather, and related environmental issues that impact society. The
Institute for the Study of Society and the Environment (ISSE), and CCB also provide
information to climate, water, and weather scientists, which assists them in prioritizing the
direction of their research.

SERE will unfurl a number of efforts in FY 2008 that foster development of underrepresented
scientists, support cross-collaboration between NCAR and partner institutes, and support
research efforts in developing nations.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs):
   • As part of NSF and NCAR’s mission to encourage development of young scientists in the
      field of atmospheric and related sciences, SERE/ASP plans to make a minimum of eight
      new postdoctoral appointments and will provide supplemental support for all fellows in
      the program. ASP will also develop and host a summer colloquium in new or rapidly
      developing areas of research where comprehensive course materials may not yet be
      available, will host the annual Junior Faculty Forum of Future Scientific Directions (JFF),
      and support the AIMES Young Scholars Network (YSN). Lastly, the established
      graduate, faculty fellowship, and postdoctoral programs will make inroads in FY 2008 to
      better serve diverse communities.
   • ASP will also expand the Graduate Visitor Program (GVP) to give internal staff the
      opportunity to bring graduate students to NCAR for 3- to 12-month collaborative visits.
      These visits enhance NCAR partnerships with public and private institutions.
      Additionally nine new Faculty Fellowship Program appointments will be made to allow
      seven university faculty to visit NCAR, and two NCAR scientists to visit universities.
      Lastly, SERE plans to introduce a set of modules aimed at engaging NCAR fellows in its
      SRSS framework.
   • SERE will develop a proof-of-concept case study for two southeastern U.S. cities that
      obtains information, recommendations, and direction from decision-makers regarding
      their use of – or lack of use of – climate, water, and weather data and information as
      related to tropical cyclones. Partners include Mayors from Mobile, Alabama and
      Charleston, South Carolina; Office of the Federal Coordinator of Meteorology; and the
      NOAA Coastal Services Center.
   • To further connections with research organizations in developing nations, CCB will assist
      Shanghai’s East China Normal University (ECNU) in establishing and developing a
      Coastal Urban Affairs Center.
   • To enhance diversity in the geosciences, SERE will organize and convene a high-level
      workshop on climate and ethics with Minority Serving Institutions in partnership with
      New Orleans-based Dillard University, and will pursue joint projects with the Colorado
       Diversity Initiative at the University of Colorado, including the 2nd Annual Postdoctoral
       Preparation Workshop.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: SERE will lead NCAR’s efforts to develop the next generation
   of scientific leaders from diverse communities in areas of inter-multi-trans-disciplinary
   science research.

SERE’s Contribution to Community Model Development
SERE scientists are collaborating with the community to reach more audiences interested in
acquiring global and regional climate model results, and are providing input on future model
components. SERE has allocated 40 percent of its budget to pursue this work.

   Milestones (Targets & Objectives/Outputs):
   • SERE/ISSE will create a down-scaled version of the CCSM IPCC projections for the
      United States, for use by those studying regional climate change. Additionally, as part of
      NARCCAP, on behalf of SERE, CISL will provide computer-based storage for 70
      terabytes of data from climate change runs to climate analyses and impacts communities,
      enhancing data access for partner institutions, and saving them related hardware/software
   • ISSE will also create a compendium of graphical and descriptive comparisons between
      projections of sphere-based model data within the ellipsoid-based GIS environment along
      with decision tools to support use of the NARCCAP database of computer runs for the
      GIS community. These efforts will further the interoperability between weather and
      climate models and GIS analysis tools.
   • SERE/ISSE staff will complete and submit for publication, papers on bivariate
      probability modeling and NARCCAP.
   • In conjunction with ESSL/MMM, SERE will define a HiFi plan that couples human and
      natural systems.

   Expected Outcome/Impact: SERE is creating better, more user-friendly access to climate-
   modeled data. In doing so, these data reach a broader audience (resource managers,
   educators, students, etc.) interested in integrating regional climate change data and
   projections with spatially explicit environmental and socio-economic information.

NSF Special and Non-NSF Funding Supporting Societal Capacity Building
NASA funded ISSE and CCB staff to quantify interactions between water consumption, land
cover change, and water using satellite-supported biophysical modeling of primary production.
This water balance mapping and modeling approach can provide a critical resource for both
water cycle science and socio-economic policy. Other non-NSF-funded work includes evaluation
of the cross-scale regional robustness of several methodologies in a case study of water
allocation issues in the Aral Sea Basin. This project aims to develop an innovative new
methodology and knowledge environment for linking NASA remote sensing science, USDA
Economic Research Service (ERS) agricultural modeling, and ISSE social science assessment
methods to international environmental management practices. In addition to the water
vulnerability modeling and assessment work mentioned above, ISSE scientists will continue
advancing NARCCAP’s goals and objectives. NARCCAP results are anticipated to provide
great benefit to NCAR’s science community and to the future of climate modeling.
Key Funding Decisions for SERE in FY 2008
To advance the strategic directions of the Laboratory and remain within the ABR budget
scenarios, SERE has proposed a reconfiguration of its scientific priorities. These will include
building capacity for coping with weather and climate hazards, and development and
implementation of the Societal Resilience System of System (SRSS) conceptual framework in
the areas of climate and health, ecosystems, water, and coastal and urban affairs. Also, SERE
proposes increasing capacity building efforts by expanding access to the science of climate,
water, and weather within diverse and underserved populations. This will include support of
undergraduate/graduate programs at minority-serving institutions, and within coastal/urban
communities with high populations of minorities. Work will include training-of-trainers, which
can support communication of information to underserved communities, and to policy makers
serving these communities.

Challenges and Opportunities for SERE in FY 2008
Decision-makers and scientists may miss the now-existing window of opportunity to address the
science of human dimensions as it relates to climate, water, and weather as drivers of change.
This challenge could be overcome by implementing focused, strategic, operational, and tactical
communications plans designed to disseminate information to business leaders, decision-makers,
and scientists regarding the value-added benefits of prioritizing research in the interconnected
areas of human and natural systems. Prioritizing scientific research is cost effective and will
result in more timely climate, water, and weather science benefits to the public.

The recent release of the IPCC AR4 signals a clear need for society to better understand climate,
weather, and water science as drivers of change; to develop strategies to improve decision
making that is underpinned by these drivers; and to ensure a more resilient society. The Strategic
Directions for SERE/ASP/CCB/ISSE, as described above, establish NCAR/SERE as an
integrator of knowledge and expertise using a cost-effective and efficient research framework
that addresses national and international needs related to the science of human dimensions.

Longer-term Plans (2009-2012)
Over the longer term, SERE will focus on developing its knowledge base by working with
diverse scientific staff while developing adequate capacity-building strategies to ensure resilient,
informed communities that are prepared to mitigate the challenges presented by climate, water
and weather realities and uncertainties. This requires that the SERE Laboratory, through ASP,
    • Develops viable memoranda of understanding with universities, agencies and businesses
       to facilitate development of each system within its SRSS methodology.
    • Works with climate, water, and weather scientists to better understand the hierarchy of
       feedback processes extant between/among coupled human and natural systems.
    • Engages decision makers to ensure their needs influence development of SRSS and
       climate, water, and weather research.
    • Provides an archived, community accessible database of standards/protocols of human-
       dimensions-driven climate, water and weather case studies.
    • Facilitates hiring of the next generation, diverse scientific workforce – required both at
       NCAR and at institutions nationally – to address the interrelated complexities of human
       dimensions, solar, climate, water and weather science.
    • Works to build the capacity required to understand the role of humans in ensuring
       resilient communities, with specific focus on underrepresented communities.
   •   Seeks additional funding required to advance the delineated research, capacity building,
       and educational opportunities to ensure an informed citizenry that resides within resilient

As can be seen in the program operating plan above, NCAR, in many ways, embodies the
National Science Foundation’s vision of stewardship. We support excellence in science and
engineering research and education by ensuring capable and efficient response to community
needs, and look forward to continuing these efforts in FY 2008 and beyond.


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