Project title: Advanced Earth System Model Capacity (ESM)

Short project description:

The field of Earth System Modeling faces new challenges. The simulation of Earth System Model Compartments has become much more realistic and data-driven, and in addition, the results of Earth system models - which can be regarded as numerical representations of the Earth system or its subcomponents - are now routinely used for decision making. Among the most important applications are predictions about natural hazards such as floods and storm surges, but also impact assessments of climate change and the search for appropriate actions for adaptation and mitigation. Below surface, the terrestrial and oceanic subsurface is particularly important for the development of strategies for the sustainable use of limited resources (e.g. groundwater, hydrocarbons and mineral resources, renewable energies) and storage capacities for renewable energies.

With the ESM project, the Helmholtz Association aims to advance the field of Earth System Modelling by developing a leading Earth System Modelling Infrastructure. Therefore, research will focus on improving the accuracy of critical Earth system compartment models, developing strong data assimilation tools, and developing a modular and flexible coupling framework for Earth systems.

The ESM project is structured into four work packages (WP):

WP1 - Earth System Model Development: Enhance the fidelity of Earth system models by improving the realism of key processes in Earth system model compartments, and by establishing a common framework that facilitates the coupling of different Earth system components
WP2 - Earth System Data Assimilation: Develop and apply an Earth system data assimilation framework to improve models, provide best estimates of the current state of the Earth system, initialize predictions and design integrated Earth observing systems.
WP3 - Frontier Simulations: Design, carry out and analyse a set of cutting-edge simulations, using the latest Earth system modelling technology, to provide solutions to grand challenges.
WP4 - Strategic Development: Set up and carry out a strategic process that will result in a long-term Earth system modelling strategy and implementation plan for Earth system modelling activities in the next round of programme-oriented research (PoF-IV)

Project duration: 04/17 – 3/20

Funding organisation: Helmholtz Association

Project partners:

  • Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel – coordinator
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ
  • Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research
  • Helmholtz Centre Potsdam German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • Helmholtz Zentrum München German research Center for Environmental Health
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

At the UFZ, research for this project is also being conducted at the Department Computational Hydrosystems (CHS)

At the Department of Environmental Informatics, research for this project was being conducted at the work group Complex Groundwater Systems.

Project website: