Abstract: The Arctic Ocean, the smallest and shallowest of the five major oceans, is a unique physical and ecological system. With the recent shifts in global climate, which are amplified in the Arctic, this system is undergoing profound changes. Scientists are working to document these changes to provide a broad assessment of their local and global impact. The hostile environment makes comprehensive measurements challenging, calling for simulation-based science to support quantitative understanding. A critical element of simulation is visualizing the complex time-evolving three-dimensional ocean state. The showcased animation, created at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, University of Texas at Austin (UT), visualizes results of a high-resolution data-constrained numerical simulation of the circulation of the Arctic Ocean. Different view angles and zooms highlight emergent features, key to understanding some of the Arctic Ocean’s most important processes.
The visualization serves as a public-outreach component of an NSF-funded project aimed at understanding and quantifying the Arctic ocean-sea ice mean state and its changes in response to the Earth’s recent warming. The research is carried out at The Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, the Institute for Geophysics, and the Jackson School of Geosciences, UT. This paper describes briefly the science behind the simulation, the HPC requirements for running the high-resolution model simulation, and the iterative and evolving process of creating the animation. The animation is currently being shown at the exhibition “Exploring the Arctic Ocean”, which runs at the UT Visual Arts Center in Austin through the fall 2018 semester.
Video Summary: pdf
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