GSL’s four research areas-- Organizational Excellence, Earth System Prediction, Advanced Technologies, and Decision Support-- are described in more detail below. These four research areas are the foundation to achieving the GSL Grand Challenge:
Deliver actionable global storm-scale prediction and environmental information through advanced technologies to serve society.
GSL strives to advance its workforce scientifically, technically, and professionally. GSL is committed to increased diversity and inclusion as well as a strong foundation for succession planning and career growth. GSL hosts team-building and training, conducts annual retreats and employee satisfaction surveys, and provides leadership opportunities to early- and mid-career staff to contribute to GSL and develop professionally. GSL also values long-term research continuity across research areas. While GSL’s Grand Challenge is a scientific and technical goal, a healthy organization invested in GSL’s mission will enable the collaboration and innovation needed to achieve this goal. Additionally, GSL invests base funding toward activities that support the GSL mission and collaboration across research areas towards our Grand Challenge. Lastly, GSL is invested in researching new technologies and maintaining an advanced IT infrastructure to provide the technologies needed for innovative research, development, and implementation.
Future plans: Continue to increase staff diversity and inclusivity; make strategic federal hires to fill vacancies and early-to-mid-career scientific positions; integrate GSL’s science strategy across research themes.
GSL is a world leader in the development of storm-scale to global-scale weather prediction models, aligning GSL research with NOAA’s objectives to build a holistic understanding of the Earth system and an integrated environmental modeling system while contributing to the Unified Forecast System. Recent successes are NOAA’s hourly-updating Rapid Refresh (RAP) and the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) high-impact weather prediction models. The RAP and HRRR predict atmospheric variables relevant to severe weather, aviation weather, the wind energy industry, and fire weather. Another recent success was the GSL-led GEFS-Aerosols model-- an atmospheric composition model that integrates weather and air quality-- that recently went into operations. In addition to model development and data assimilation expertise, through the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC), GSL supports community involvement by developing modeling infrastructure, providing support to users and developers of the UFS and Hurricane WRF models, assessing contributed innovations, and organizing events to bring together the research and operational communities.
Future plans: With expertise in physics, model coupling, data assimilation, modeling, and verification, GSL will advance Earth-system capabilities toward a continuous global-to-local storm-scale system.
GSL is a world leader in advancing new technologies and methods in computing, modeling, visualization, data access, and information delivery to support NOAA’s Earth system prediction and decision support capabilities. GSL research includes using innovative numerical methods and software design that improve the performance, portability, and scientific accuracy of models running on next-generation exascale computers. The advanced computing efforts in GSL are the foundation of virtually all High Performance Computing methods used in NOAA operations and research. GSL also researches and implements cloud computing capabilities to address the challenges of the end-to-end Unified Forecast System used by NOAA and the research community. Researchers are developing machine learning algorithms to increase the use of observations in data assimilation, improve model prediction capabilities, and gain a better understanding of complex data. GSL has been a leader in closing data gaps for NOAA Operations with MADIS, a database of weather observations from a variety of sources that is used worldwide. GSL researchers leverage the latest server and gaming technologies in SOS Explorer™ Mobile, a free app for smart phones to bring environmental information and education to your hands.
Future plans: Develop advanced technologies to enable the delivery of information and improved Earth-system prediction models.
GSL’s history was forged in developing tools that support the weather decision-making process. Decision support tool development began in the early 1980s with the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS), and is continuing now with incremental deployments of GSL’s Hazard Services system to NWS offices. Hazard Services streamlines NWS watch, warning, and advisory-related services into one interface and can be customized for each office, region, or type of weather. GSL is also advancing the Weather Archive and Visualization Environment (WAVE) project, a web-based multi-purpose system where NWS forecasters create impact-based graphics about weather hazards to deliver via their websites and social media. GSL also works to understand how weather information is used through impact-based forecast assessments and targeted real-time information delivery to benefit decision-making in response to high impact weather events.
Future plans: GSL will build tools and systems that will provide actionable information and enable understanding of impacts.
Goal 2: Detect Changes in the Ocean and Atmosphere - Produce, analyze, and interpret observation records to understand the Earth System and inform the public
Goal 3: Make forecasts better - Improve accuracy, precision and efficiency of forecasts and predictions to save lives and property and support a vibrant economy
Goal 4: Drive innovative science