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This profile was last updated on 6/12/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.


Phone: (703) ***-****  
Email: k***@***.org
Local Address:  Beltsville , Maryland , United States
Institute of Global Environment and Society
4041 Powder Mill Road Suite 302
Calverton , Maryland 20705
United States

Company Description: The Institute of Global Environment and Society, Inc. (IGES) - a non-profit, tax exempt research institute, incorporated in the State of Maryland - was established...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board Member
37 Total References
Web References
TWGrid - Portal - Record-breaking US drought set to become the norm, 27 May 2013 [cached]
James Kinter, director of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies at the Institute of Global Environment and Society, was granted permission to use systems provided by XSEDE - and its predecessor TeraGrid ­­- to run climate models with high spatial resolutions, requiring large amounts of processing power. Based on these simulations, Kinter and his colleagues calculated that the likelihood of extreme drought in the US Great Plains and Florida is set to increase from the average frequency of four out of every 50 years to 20 years of extreme drought out of every 50 years by the end of the 21st century.
Using the XSEDE infrastructure, Kinter and his colleagues were able to simulate US climate over long periods at the spatial resolution normally used for producing 10-day weather forecasts today. "The pattern of increasing probability of extreme drought in our simulations is quite similar to the summer 2012 drought severity map showing 63% of the lower 48 US states in moderate to severe drought," says Kinter. "Our results suggest that, while the 2012 event itself cannot be ascribed to human-induced climate change per se, the severe situation we are experiencing today is likely to become entirely too commonplace in the future."
However, not all climate researchers are as fortunate as Kinter and his colleagues to be granted dedicated access to some of the US National Science Foundation's finest high-performance computing equipment. And, with competition for access to supercomputers fierce, climate scientists are often required to make pragmatic decisions, such as limiting the spatial resolution of their models, so as to save on computing time. After all, even at moderate resolutions, one could reasonably expect global-scale models to require several months of supercomputing time to produce just a century's worth of climate data.
Speaking at the recent XSEDE12 conference in Chicago, Kinter discussed the significant effects that changes in spatial resolution of climate models can have on their outcomes. Working with the Athena supercomputer in 2009/10, he and his team were able to run simulations of boreal summer climate at a 7-kilometer resolution over the course of eight summers, whereas researchers had previously only been able to simulate a single week or month at this level of detail. While running these simulations, the team found that even small changes in spatial resolution could have large impacts on the outcomes of the climate models. He cites research by collaborators that showed how low-resolution models of the Gulf Stream off the east coast of the US put rain associated with the weather pattern in the wrong place, whereas high-resolution models were able to delineate the bands of rain off the east coast with accuracy.
Of course, while ever-faster supercomputers mean that climate models can feasibly be run at increasingly high spatial resolutions, this doesn't mean that a solution to the difficulties of climate modeling is yet in sight. The research conducted by Kinter and his team was pioneering work and required many ad hoc fixes and workarounds to complete the simulations. For example, the team suffered with issues relating to the memory available per node on Athena and the output from their simulations was capped by the bandwidth limits between both processors and disk and disk and HPSS tape.
According to Kinter, turning the ad hoc solutions he and his team came up with to deal with these issues into systematic, repeatable solutions is the next step which needs to be taken. However, some of the issues his team faced were even more difficult to overcome: "We were in a unique situation, because we had dedicated access to Athena 24/7 for six months. That introduced unique challenges like how to keep the queue loaded with jobs so that the machine never went idle and how to manage the output data. We generated output at a rate that would fill Athena's disks every 6 days, so we had a fairly serious data management challenge. The project generated nearly 900TB of data in total and this is now available to researchers around the world hoping to improve the next generation of climate models.
The following list of people collaborated with Kinter on this research:
CMMAP, 16 Feb 2009 [cached]
Jim Kinter COLA / IGES Knowledge-Transfer partner
For example, COLA director James ..., 7 Sept 2010 [cached]
For example, COLA director James Kinter, who is also an associate professor of climate dynamics at Mason, has been helping the Indian government further refine its monsoon forecasting techniques. Kinter and his colleagues have found that since the monsoon system varies from year to year by about 10 percent, making predictions is more difficult.
"What is it in the world's climate system that determines the monsoon rainfall anomaly? How can you make better predictions of those factors that influence the monsoon? That is the cutting-edge of research right now," says Kinter.
Their climate forecasting work has important implications.
"In places where agriculture is dominant, that rainfall turns out to be absolutely critical to the functioning of society and the economy," says Kinter.
CMMAP, 17 June 2011 [cached]
Jim Kinter COLA / IGES Knowledge-Transfer partner
Jim Kinter COLA / IGES Knowledge-Transfer partner
Jim Kinter COLA / IGES Knowledge-Transfer partner
You're invited to a full-day seminar ... [cached]
You're invited to a full-day seminar with leading climate scientists, Dr. Jim Kinter, Director of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA), "Predicting Future Climate for Local and Regional Decision-Making. Dr. Kinter will look at the most recent science of climate prediction at the local and regional scale. Dr. Kinter leads scientists at COLA to provide the world with more accurate climate predictions of where climate changes will occur and what the impacts will be on human societies and ecosystems.
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