LLNL Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI)
Established in 1989, the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) is an International focal point for understanding climate change and analyzing and diagnosing the performance of the world’s climate models; the PCMDI is a DOE program located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The PCMDI mission is to develop improved methods and tools for the diagnosis and intercomparison of general circulation models (GCMs) that simulate the global climate. The need for innovative analysis of GCM climate simulations is apparent, as increasingly more complex models are developed, while the disagreements among these simulations and relative to climate observations remain significant and poorly understood. The nature and causes of these disagreements must be accounted for in a systematic fashion in order to confidently use GCMs for simulation of putative global climate change.
PCMDI's mission demands that we work on both scientific projects and infrastructural tasks. Our current scientific projects focus on supporting model intercomparison, on developing a model parameterization testbed, and on devising robust statistical methods for climate-change detection/attribution. Examples of ongoing infrastructural tasks include the development of software for data management, visualization, and computation; the assembly/organization of observational data sets for model validation; and the consistent documentation of climate model features. Details of all this work are described in numerous publications, as well as on our website.
LLNL applies this deep knowledge of climate simulations with the laboratory’s large computer platforms to examine global and regional climate predictions at extremely high resolution. The focus of these predictions are understanding the local and regional processes driving climate change at regional and global scale and to examine climate change impacts on systems of importance to society and policy. A main focus at LLNL is fresh water availability and how climate change will alter the location and amount of fresh water available to society’s use for drinking water, agriculture, and power generation.