GEOS-ChemThe Heald, Selin and Barrett groups at MIT use the global chemical transport model GEOS-Chem in their research.  GEOS-Chem is one of the most extensively used global models of atmospheric composition in the international community, with contributions from over 70 research groups world-wide. Prof. Noelle Selin  and Prof. Colette Heald are both currently members of the Scientific Steering Committee of this model.


CESMThe Heald, Selin,and Prinn groups use the global Community Earth System Model (CESM) for studies investigating the interactions between atmospheric composition and climate or the biosphere. Prof. Colette Heald is a member of the CESM Advisory Board. The Wang group has developed a separate version of the CESM with a coupled size and mixing state aerosol model.

 The Selin and Prinn groups use the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx) to address regional-scale atmospheric chemistry. 

In a collaborative effort with colleagues at National University of Singapore, the Wang group uses the Weather Forecast and Research (WRF) model to perform regional climate modeling to specifically study the impact of aerosols on the Indian monsoon.

The Wang group has developed a three-dimensional cloud-resolving including size-dependent aerosol and cloud microphysics, radiation, and atmospheric chemistry. The model has been used to study aerosol-cloud interaction, cloud chemistry, and deep convective events among other topics. It can be run in large-eddy simulation mode as well to study planetary boundary layer clouds, mixed-phase clouds, and atmospheric turbulence.

WACCMThe Solomon group analyzes climate model results as well as reanalysis and satellite observations of the composition, circulation, and climate of the atmosphere. The group also uses the global Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) for studies examining radiation, chemistry, and climate in the stratosphere and troposphere.




Computational Facilities

Yellowstone supercomputers at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center

The Heald Group at MIT operates an exclusive-use cluster on campus for model simulations and data analysis. The current system consists of 96 compute nodes with 32 Tb of storage. The system is linux-based (Fedora) and includes IDL analysis software licenses and ifort compiler access.

Members of the Heald group working with the CESM climate model also have access to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) high-performance and data storage supercomputing facilities. As of fall 2012, NCAR computing will be conducted on the NCAR petascale Yellowstone system, an IBM iDataPlex cluster.




The Wang group currently has three clusters, two at MIT and one at the Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling (CENSAM) of Singapore-MIT Alliance of Research and Technology (SMART). In total, these clusters have 264 CPU cores and 70 TB dedicated data storage.

The Wang group also uses NCAR’s Yellowstone and bluefire supercomputers (see above) and two high performance clusters of Singapore Agency For Science Technology & Research (A*STAR) for centennial scale or ensemble aerosol-climate modeling.

Several atmospheric chemistry groups make use of the Svante cluster, a shared facility among  students, post-docs, and researchers affiliated with The Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change  or The Center For Global Change Science.

The cluster is named after Svante Arrhenrius, the Swedish scientist who first speculated about fossil fuel emissions and the greenhouse effect. It includes:

  • 64 compute nodes, using either the Intel “nehalem” or “sandy bridge” chipset, running @ 2.60-3.47 GHz and equipped with 12-64 GB RAM per node (approximately 750 total physical cores)
  • Six dedicated high-capacity file server nodes; total disk storage capacity is over 500 TB
  • Compute and file server nodes interconnected by a low-latency infiniband fabric.