Through numerical experiments that simulate the dynamical and physical processes governing weather and climate variability of Earth's atmosphere, models create a dynamic portrait of our planet. This 10-kilometer global mesoscale simulation (Nature Run) using the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System Model (GEOS-5) explores the evolution of surface temperatures as the sun heats the Earth and fuels cloud formation in the tropics and along baroclinic zones; the presence of water vapor and precipitation within these global weather patterns; the dispersion of global aerosols from dust, biomass burning, fossil fuel emissions, and volcanoes; and the winds that transport these aerosols from the surface to upper-levels.
The full GEOS-5 simulation covered 2 years—from May 2005 to May 2007. It ran on 3,750 processors of the Discover supercomputer at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation, consuming 3 million processor hours and producing over 400 terabytes of data.
GEOS-5 development is funded by NASA's Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction Program.
Dust (red), sea salt (blue), organic/black carbon (green), and sulfates (white) displayed by their extinction aerosol optical thickness.This simulation used GEOS-5 and the Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) Model.
This projection of the aerosols simulation onto a rotating globe tracks wildfires and human-initiated burning (red-yellow dots) as detected by NASA's MODIS instrument aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites.