The Earth System Prediction Capability Program

Daniel Eleuterio


The Earth System Prediction Capability (ESPC) Inter-Agency program was established in 2010 as a coordinating effort to improve collaboration across the federally sponsored environmental research and operational prediction communities for the development and implementation of improved national physical earth system prediction. Towards these goals, a set of five demonstration projects are under development and researchers are invited to participate in the definition and execution of the projects. The goal of the demonstrations is to provide unifying themes and common diagnostics for developing a common modeling environment, establishing community data sets & test cases, and assess predictability at sub-seasonal to inter-annual timescales against potential DoE, DoC, and DoD user needs, and to begin to develop guidelines for the future transition to operational forecasts. Through this effort it is expected that critical path science and technology issues will be identified and addressed. The areas for the ESPC Demonstrations are:

• Episodic Weather Extremes: Predictability of Blocking Events and High Impact Weather at Lead Times of 1-6 Weeks;

• Seasonal Tropical Cyclone Threat: Predictability of Tropical Cyclone Likelihood, Mean Track, and Intensity from Weekly to Seasonal Timescales;

• Arctic Sea Ice Extent and Seasonal Ice Free Dates: Predictability from Weekly to Seasonal Timescales;

• Coastal Seas: Predictability of Circulation, Hypoxia, and Harmful Algal Blooms at Lead Times of 1-6 Weeks;

• Open Ocean: Predictability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) from Monthly to Decadal Timescales.

The goal of ESPC is to create a high-resolution, extended range, coupled atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, and near space national capability that will produce more accurate and longer range predictions at the weather-climate scale interface for use in policy, investment, and implementation decisions affecting the economy and protection of the US population. The ESPC effort will seek to coordinate and enhance sponsor-level multi-year investments from basic science to acquisition and operations.