Image of Professor Cherith Moses portrait image

Professor Cherith Moses has recently been awarded a NERC High Performance Computing resource allocation for regional climate modelling research on the NERC Thai Coast project that she leads.


The application was led by Dr Yi Wang, of Sussex University, who is directing the climate modelling work on the Thai Coast project in collaboration with Prof Moses and Dr Jimy Dudhia of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (sponsored by the National Science Foundation) in the US. The Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF) climate modelling for two study sites in Thailand, Nakhon si Thammarat and Krabi Provinces in Thailand, is being conducted by Dr Netsanet Alamirew who is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the NERC Thai coast project under the advice of Drs Yi Wang and Jimy Dudhia.

Dr Alamirew will be modelling high-resolution future climate projections for the two study sites, shown in the dashed boxes below, using the IPCC model outputs. Through this dynamic downscaling procedure, the coarse resolution IPCC model outputs will be converted as very high-resolution outputs in spatio-temporal aspects, and the results will be suitable for use in helping to assess coastal vulnerability to erosion and flooding in the future.

The additional computing resource is needed because the high-resolution regional climate modelling is computationally expensive, and it also produces high-temporal resolution outputs that require very large amounts of storage space, up to 12 TB for simulating just one climate scenario over a 20 year period! To begin with Dr Alamirew has modelled the intensive storm event of January 2017 in the study sites so that the modelled results can be checked against real-time data in much detail. This will provide the team with the opportunity to evaluate the different physical configurations of the WRF model for the Southern Thailand environment.

Once the model is validated the team can then proceed with modelling future climate scenarios to provide the NERC Thai Coast project researchers with outputs, such as rainfall, to inform other aspects of the project work including sediment flux, erosion and flood modelling.

The image here shows the Thai coast, with beach defences to minimise the damage to the local community.

Professor Moses said:

This new High Performance Computer award is a tremendous boost to the work of the NERC Thai Coast project. It greatly enhances our capacity for modelling future climate scenarios. Dr Wang and his team are using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) to dynamically downscale the IPCC global model projections into Nakhon Si Thammat and Krabi provinces. We will now be able to use WRF to provide rainfall and other climate data for flood-risk modelling using Flowroute at 1-km spatial and 15-min temporal resolutions (downscaling). The Flowroute model was developed at Ambiental Risk Analytics Ltd, another project partner and we are delighted to be working with them to help develop their flood-risk modelling capability with such high-resolution climate data’.

This NERC High Performance Computing resource allocation is an additional resource for Thai Coast: Coastal Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptation in Thailand, funded by NERC, ESRC, TRF through the Newton Fund, Oct 2018 – Sept 2021. Award number: NE/S003231/1. It is a new user award and the resources awarded are: NEXCS High Performance Computing facility funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and delivered by the Met Office; ARCHER UK National Supercomputing Service; JASMIN, the UK collaborative data analysis facility. The project has been awarded 10 million allocation units (MAU) and 10 TB storage over two years, from May 2019 – April 2021.