PNNL-JGCRI hector user interface for climate model simulation
- Geographical scope:Global
- Initial Release:May 2021
- Institution(s):Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
Computer-based models are a fundamental tool used by Earth scientists to simulate and project alternate futures of the global environment. However, using traditional climate models generally requires mathematical expertise, a deep understanding of climate-related parameters, and advanced programming knowledge, all of which can take years to master and make interacting with climate models a challenge for any non-specialist.
What if anyone with an internet connection could do simple climate modeling without needing to program anything? A team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) set about turning that idea into reality.
The team started with hector, a well-established climate emulator that accurately reproduces the temperature projections of complex climate models while using a fraction of the computational demand. The PNNL team started with its fundamental capabilities and worked to incorporate them into an easy-to-use interface: hectorui.
Using hectorui, researchers can explore how altering parameters, including several related to aerosols and ocean heat, affects future temperatures. Hectorui includes a tutorial that guides new users through setting up and running an experiment with its various functions. Non-experts can run basic experiments and learn how climate models operate, while researchers can directly download the quickly obtainable data from the interface to use in their own studies.