Image: A portrait of global winds

November 22, 2013
Credit: William Putman/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

High-resolution global atmospheric modeling provides a unique tool to study the role of weather within Earth's climate system. NASA's Goddard Earth Observing System Model (GEOS-5) is capable of simulating worldwide weather at resolutions as fine as 3.5 kilometers.

This visualization shows global winds from a GEOS-5 simulation using 10-kilometer resolution. Surface winds (0 to 40 meters/second) are shown in white and trace features including Atlantic and Pacific cyclones. Upper-level winds (250 hectopascals) are colored by speed (0 to 175 meters/second), with red indicating faster.

This simulation ran on the Discover supercomputer at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation. The complete 2-year "Nature Run" simulation—a computer model representation of Earth's atmosphere from basic inputs including observed sea-surface temperatures and surface emissions from biomass burning, volcanoes and anthropogenic sources—produces its own unique weather patterns including precipitation, aerosols and hurricanes. A follow-on Nature Run is simulating Earth's atmosphere at 7 kilometers for 2 years and 3.5 kilometers for 3 months.

Explore further: Researchers perform multi-century

Related Stories

Researchers perform multi-century

April 1, 2008

Using state-of-the-art supercomputers, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory climate scientists have performed a 400-year high-resolution global ocean-atmosphere simulation with results that are more similar to actual observations ...

Researchers tackle next-generation climate models

April 16, 2013

Tornadoes, twisting winds that descend from thunderheads, and derechos, winds that race ahead of a straight line of storms, are just two varieties of extreme weather events whose frequency and violence are on the increase. ...

NASA peers into one of Earth's strongest storms ever

November 11, 2013

(Phys.org) —New satellite images just obtained from NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard NASA's Aqua spacecraft and the Indian Space Research Organization's OceanSAT-2 ocean wind scatterometer provide ...

Recommended for you

A cataclysmic event of a certain age

July 27, 2015

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

Researchers find reasons behind increases in urban flooding

July 27, 2015

Scientists at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science investigating the increasing risk of 'compound flooding' for major U.S. cities have found that flooding risk is greatest for cities along the Atlantic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.