Climate Simulation Laboratory (CSL)

The 2014 CSL submission opportunity is now closed.

The deadline for submitting CSL applications is March 24, 2014. In a change from prior CSL periods, researchers must have funding from NSF awards to address the climate-related questions for which they are requesting CSL allocations.


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The Climate Simulation Laboratory (CSL) represents CISL’s premier opportunity for researchers seeking high-performance computing and data storage systems to support extremely demanding, high-profile climate simulations. Such simulations require high resolution, span many centuries of simulated time, encompass large numbers of ensembles, integrate new physics or models, or address national and international scientific priorities.

CSL projects’ long-running simulations typically require millions of core-hours to complete and usually produce many terabytes of model output that must be stored for analysis and comparison with other simulations and with observations.

Approximately 70 million core-hours are allocated to four to six CSL projects each year. Proposals are reviewed once per year, and awards last for 12 months. To be considered in the selective CSL review process, requests must meet or exceed the minimum request size of 10 million core-hours on Yellowstone. (A collection of unrelated or loosely related activities assembled to reach the minimum CSL allocation size do not constitute a valid CSL request.) Very large projects, if awarded, may be required to consume their allocation approximately evenly over the course of the allocation period.

In a change from prior CSL periods, researchers must have funding from National Science Foundation (NSF) awards to address the climate-related questions for which they are requesting CSL allocations. (See the CSL Eligibility Requirements.) The CSL, which was established in 1995 as a multi-agency initiative, is evolving with the HPC landscape into a focused effort to support NSF awardees in addressing scientific questions that require large-scale, long-running simulations of the Earth's climate system.

For the CSL, the Earth's climate system is defined as the coupled atmosphere, oceans, land, cryosphere, and associated biogeochemistry and ecology, studied on time scales ranging from seasons to centuries. The CSL encourages collaborations with scientists involved in policy development, including impacts, mitigation, and adaptation options for climate change as well as short-term climate variations.

The CSL computational facilities are operated and maintained by the NCAR Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL) and supported by the NSF.