China’s First Facility Exploring Earth System Interactions has been launched.
The Earth is a sphere, and it comprises spheres: atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere and biosphere – in short, all of the cycles that interact to influence Earth’s weather and climate.
Now, to better study how the spheres interact and impact the planet, China launched EarthLab on June 23, 2021.
Integrate simulations and observations
The researchers will begin trials to demonstrate the facility’s ability to integrate simulations and observations for more accurate projection and to provide scientific foundation to predict and mitigate such things as natural weather disasters.
The introduction to the facility was published on June 23 in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences.
“Since the earth system is extremely large and complex, traditional theories and observations are too limited to meet the overall requirements of the scientific research community,” said Zhang He, corresponding author of the study, EarthLab researcher affiliated with the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Simulation of many phenomenons
EarthLab is the first comprehensive virtual earth laboratory in China for simulation of the physical climate system, environmental system, ecological system, solid earth system, and space weather system as a whole with a high-performance scientific computing platform.
In partnership with Tsinghua University, IAP began construction of EarthLab in 2018. It is expected to become fully operational and open to universities and research institutes across the world in 2022.
Better predict climate and environment variability
Weather, climate and environmental disasters occur frequently and seriously with grave losses of life and property. Consequently, a global earth system simulation system, as well as high-precision regional environmental simulation system, are urgently needed to better predict climate and environment variability, as well as prevent and mitigate natural disasters more effectively.
“Our ultimate goal is to predict Earth systems on a vast range of time scale, from seconds to hundreds of years, and of spatial scale, from 10 meters to millions of meters,” Zhang said.
Earth’s past, present and future
Along with other Earth simulators around the world, the development and construction of EarthLab will advance the understanding of not only the Earth’s spheres and their interactions, but also the Earth’s past, present and future.
EarthLab’s Chinese name is “Huan“, which means “a place as vast as the Earth where people live and upon whose land they depend”.
This article has first been published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.