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What is SIMA?

NCAR advisory panels and Site Visit Teams over the last 3 years have recommended that NCAR unify and integrate the atmospheric modeling efforts that are distributed to the community.

In response to this, NCAR and the community have developed a vision for the next generation of community models for the atmosphere: SIMA, the System for Integrated Modeling of the Atmosphere. The primary goal of the 'SIMA' system is to be able to conduct frontier science simulations in climate, weather and geospace research using the same modeling system.

The initial SIMA vision development arose from the Singletrack project, and featured a large number of NCAR staff and selected community participants. This project ran from January - December 2018 and developed a 'Vision document and Roadmap' that became SIMA. We have started some initial explorations of different options in a 'SIMA version 0' (SIMAv0) using extensions to our existing modeling systems.

SIMA presently has 4 internal NCAR co-leads for Weather (Bill Skamarock), Climate (Andrew Gettelman), Chemistry (Mary Barth), and Geospace (Hanli Liu).

SIMA prototype logo

SIMA brings together Weather, Climate, Chemistry and Geospace Community Models at NCAR


SIMAv0 has started exploring unification and harmonization options in our existing systems. This has included the following elements:

  • SIMAv0 Chemistry: develop a new portable and robust infrastructure for building and maintaining chemistry schemes, develop a regionally refined chemical model over the US at 14km
  • SIMAv0 Geospace: extending current dynamical cores up to the thermosphere, and enable coupling to a geomagnetic grid
  • SIMAv0 Polar: A refined mesh configuration of CESM2 with 14km resolution over the Arctic and over Greenland is being developed for community use
  • SIMAv0 Climate: Refined Mesh: A 14km CESM2 mesh for the United States is being developed for the community
  • MPAS in CESM: The non-hydrostatic MPAS dynamical core is being integrated with CESM

SIMA Frontier Applications - 3 year targets* Click on image for larger view

SIMA Workshop

NSF is planning a SIMA workshop the week of March 2-6th 2020, in Atlanta, GA to define the SIMA vision and roadmap. Please stay tuned for more information, and contact the SIMA co-leads if interested.


  File Modified
PNG File SIMA-image.png Dec 17, 2019 by Andrew Gettelman
PNG File SIMA-frontiers.png Dec 17, 2019 by Andrew Gettelman
PDF File SIMA Overview Jan 2020.pdf Dec 17, 2019 by Andrew Gettelman
PDF File SIMA Vision.pdf Dec 17, 2019 by Andrew Gettelman

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