2013 - Phil Rasch

Phil Rasch, from the Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is the recipient of the 2013 CESM Distinguished Achievement Award. Phil has made numerous and significant contributions to the development of the community atmosphere model of the CESM project over many years. These contributions actually pre-date the release of the first version of the CCSM. In the 1980s and 1990s, while Phil was a scientist at NCAR, he was involved in the development of the CCM atmospheric models. The first version of CCSM, the Climate System Model 1.0 (CSM1.0) was released in June 1996 and incorporated CCM3.0 as the atmospheric model component. Phil has continued to be active in the development of the atmospheric component for all subsequent CSM, CCSM, and now CESM models.

In recent years, the CESM project has benefitted from Phil’s significant efforts on the CAM5 developments. CAM5 represents a significant advance in global atmospheric modeling developed under CESM's community-based structure, and its innovations represent contributions from many climate and computational scientists and numerous dedicated software engineers. Phil worked tirelessly to marshal this team to thoroughly revamp physics in CAM with state-of-the-science treatments of boundary layer processes, radiation, aerosols, shallow convection, and in fact most of the important atmospheric processes.

He also showed great perseverance during the process of integrating and coupling these processes to produce an internationally-leading atmospheric model, and worked to ensure that CESM (with the new version of CAM) would be amply represented in the CMIP5 archive assessed for the upcoming 5th IPCC Assessment Report. Phil provided scientific, technical, and programmatic vision and leadership of the CAM5 developments of great benefit to the CESM project as a whole. We look forward to Phil’s continued involvement and leadership of CESM development activities.