CAM5.0, CICE4.0, and now CESM2.1

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If you research and model climate change and global warming, as opposed to weather forecasting, you know these acronyms already. CAM5.0 is Version 5.0 of the Community Atmosphere Model, a global atmospheric model run generally in LINUX on clusters ranging from 12 or more nodes.  Developed primarily by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Thanks to the Atmospheric Working Group (AMSWG).

CICE4.0 is the latest version of the public-accessible Los Alamos Sea Ice Model, sometimes referred to as the Community Ice CodE.   It is the result of a community effort to develop a portable, efficient sea ice model that can be run coupled in a global climate model or uncoupled as a stand-alone ice model.   It has been released as the sea ice component of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM), a fully-coupled global climate model that provides simulations of the earths past, present and future climate states. CICE4 is supported on high- and low-resolution Greenland Pole and tripole grids, which are identical to those used by the Parallel Ocean Program (POP) ocean model.  The high resolution version is best suited for simulating present-day and future climate scenarios while the low resolution option is used for paleoclimate simulations and debugging your install of the app.

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The Community Climate System Model version 4.0 (CCSM4.0) is a coupled climate model for simulating the Earth’s climate system.  Composed of four separate models simultaneously simulating the earth’s atmosphere, ocean, land surface and sea-ice, and one central coupler component, the CCSM allows researchers to conduct fundamental research into the earth’s past, present and future climate states. 

It is important to note that CCSM4 is now a subset of Community Earth System Model (CESM1.0 and 2.0). The CCSM4.0 code base is frozen and all future model updates will occur from the CESM1.0 code base.  In addition, although CESM1 supersedes CCSM4, users can run all CCSM4 experiments from the CESM1 code base.


CESM2.0 has now been released from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and NCAR. UCAR manages NCAR for the NSF.

“UCAR is a nonprofit consortium of more than 115 North American colleges and universities focused on research and training in the Earth system sciences.  UCAR members constitute a self-governing body representing nearly all the academic programs in Earth system science in North America. We provide a clear voice for our membership, in collaboration with the broader community, to convey the value of our research, education, and partnerships to policymakers and decision makers.” – UCAR


Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 5.58.24 PMAbove is one 10-node cluster.  I use 2 nodes from the iMac 27″ and the other 8 nodes form the 2 Mini iMacs to the right. 

I used CAM5.0 with CICE  on a 12-node Mini iMac cluster using Thunderbolt2  “interfaceless” serial cabling configured with Parallel OperatiOn and Control Heuristic app ( POOCH).  It is crude, but has served me well as an amateur Climate Change modeler and researcher.

Even without your own operating modeling system, you can utilize the output data sets and plots developed by UCAR|NCAR.  Just understand the source of input data sets, their quality, and how they are incorporated into the model.  The output plots are located here for most recent CESM2.1

Plot Outputs CESM2.1 


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