Field Tests Unite Weather and Climate Models

October 7, 2005

Researchers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and seven other government and academic institutions have created four new supercomputer simulations that for the first time combine their mathematical computer models of the atmosphere, ocean, land surface and sea ice. These simulations are the first field tests of the new  Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF), a shared software infrastructure that promises to accelerate research aimed at improving U.S. predictive capability ranging from short-term weather  forecasts to century-long climate change projections and more rapidly move the results of that research into operational prediction systems.

Under a partnership, groups from NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and research universities are using ESMF as the standard for coupling their weather and climate models to achieve a realistic representation of the Earth as a system of interacting parts. Having a standard will unify much of the modeling community. ESMF makes it easier to share and compare alternative scientific approaches from multiple sources, uses remote sensing data more efficiently, and eliminates the need for individual agencies to develop their own coupling software.

“The development of large Earth system applications often spans  initiatives, institutions, and agencies and involves the geoscience, physics, mathematics, and computer science communities. With ESMF,  these diverse groups can leverage common software to simplify model  development,” said NASA ESMF principal investigator Arlindo da Silva, a scientist in GSFC’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office.

NASA’s Earth-Sun System Technology Office/Computational Technologies (ESTO/CT) Project funds the field tests and overall ESMF development. The partners on the field tests are DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and National Centers for Environmental Prediction, NSF’s National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of California, Los Angeles.

The newly completed field tests, known as interoperability  experiments, show that this new approach in coupling models works as envisioned. For instance, ESMF enables an NSF-NASA atmosphere model  to ingest conventional and satellite observations from NCEP’s data analysis system. The coupling then produces global temperature and  wind outputs similar to those from NCEP’s operational coupled models.  Although most of the experiments would require exhaustive tuning and validation to be scientifically sound, they already show that ESMF can be used to assemble coupled applications quickly, easily, and  with technical accuracy.

“These interoperability experiments illustrate the role ESMF can play  in integrating the national Earth science resources,” da Silva said. “Using existing data assimilation technology from NCEP, the finite-volume Community Atmosphere Model, or fvCAM, was able to ingest  conventional and satellite observations, a capability that could open the door to using the fvCAM for weather as well as climate prediction.” The fvCAM, which includes land surface capabilities, was developed by NCAR, with key components from GSFC.

The second experiment again uses NCEP’s data assimilation technology, but this time couples it with the Aries atmosphere model originally developed by the NASA Seasonal-to-Interannual Prediction Project. Aries is typically also coupled with an ocean model to run  experimental forecasts of phenomena such as El Nino and its effects  on precipitation. Because they both use ESMF, these two  interoperability experiments enable the intercomparison of systems  for satellite data assimilation.

The third experiment, combining a GFDL atmosphere-land-ice model with an MIT ocean-sea ice model (known as MITgcm), may ultimately bring new insights into ocean uptake of carbon dioxide and other important atmospheric gases and how this process affects the climate.

In an early independent adoption of ESMF technology, UCLA researchers have successfully coupled their Atmospheric General Circulation Model  to the MITgcm for the first time and inserted ESMF into an existing  coupling of their model to the LANL Parallel Ocean Program model. They made experimental predictions of the El Nino/Southern Oscillations with the coupled models using initial states provided by JPL’s Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) project. These preliminary results validate ESMF performance in terms of scientific fidelity, thereby demonstrating the software’s ability to serve in a production modeling system. Scientists can then use the ESMF-enabled couplings to compare the forecasting skills between different model combinations. The results also support the importance  of ECCO products for improving short-term climate forecasts.

Demonstrations of the software and the field tests took place at the Fourth ESMF Community Meeting, held at MIT in July. It attracted more than 100 attendees from the U.S. and other  countries. This year’s meeting kicked off with the first ESMF on the Grid Workshop on July 20. Shujia Zhou of the CT Project and Northrop Grumman IT, Chris Hill of MIT, and Cecelia DeLuca of NCAR organized  the workshop. The event included presentations on grid software and grid implementations of ESMF and other Earth and space science  software frameworks.

The Community Meeting’s main session on July 21 demonstrated the maturation ESMF has undergone over the past year. CT project manager Jim Fischer noted that ESMF “is graduating from NASA development funding to multi-agency coordinated funding.” On the technical front, ESMF now allows concurrent execution of models, as explained by NCAR’s Nancy Collins. This capability enables ensemble forecasting: running multiple models with slightly different starting conditions. In addition to the field tests, presenters from GFDL, MIT, the Naval  Research Laboratory, NCAR and NCEP detailed efforts to replace their organizations’ coupling software with ESMF.

Max Suarez of GSFC described development of the GEOS-5 atmosphere model, the first model  completely implemented with ESMF. As related by Don Anderson of NASA Headquarters, GEOS-5 and two other NASA models are being tested for hurricane forecasting in the Florida State University Superensemble. The Community Meeting concluded on July 22 with a hands-on tutorial and an industry partners forum.

Reaching beyond the NASA-funded partnership, the ESMF development team distributes the software to the scientific community via the Internet. NCAR, home of the core implementation team, released ESMF  Version 2.2.0 on July 13.

This article originally appeared in the CISTO News, a publication of  the Computational and Information Sciences and Technology Office at  NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The CISTO News is available at http://cisto-news.gsfc.nasa.gov/.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Exascale Computing Project Names Doug Kothe as Director

September 20, 2017

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has named Doug Kothe as its new director effective October 1. He replaces Paul Messina, who is stepping down after two years to return to Argonne National L Read more…

Takeaways from the Milwaukee HPC User Forum

September 19, 2017

Milwaukee’s elegant Pfister Hotel hosted approximately 100 attendees for the 66th HPC User Forum (September 5-7, 2017). In the original home city of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Harley Davidson motorcycles the agenda addresse Read more…

By Merle Giles

NSF Awards $10M to Extend Chameleon Cloud Testbed Project

September 19, 2017

The National Science Foundation has awarded a second phase, $10 million grant to the Chameleon cloud computing testbed project led by University of Chicago with partners at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Ren Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE Prepares Customers for Success with the HPC Software Portfolio

High performance computing (HPC) software is key to harnessing the full power of HPC environments. Development and management tools enable IT departments to streamline installation and maintenance of their systems as well as create, optimize, and run their HPC applications. Read more…

NERSC Simulations Shed Light on Fusion Reaction Turbulence

September 19, 2017

Understanding fusion reactions in detail – particularly plasma turbulence – is critical to the effort to bring fusion power to reality. Recent work including roughly 70 million hours of compute time at the National E Read more…

Exascale Computing Project Names Doug Kothe as Director

September 20, 2017

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has named Doug Kothe as its new director effective October 1. He replaces Paul Messina, who is s Read more…

Takeaways from the Milwaukee HPC User Forum

September 19, 2017

Milwaukee’s elegant Pfister Hotel hosted approximately 100 attendees for the 66th HPC User Forum (September 5-7, 2017). In the original home city of Pabst Blu Read more…

By Merle Giles

Kathy Yelick Charts the Promise and Progress of Exascale Science

September 15, 2017

On Friday, Sept. 8, Kathy Yelick of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, delivered the keynote address on “Breakt Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DARPA Pledges Another $300 Million for Post-Moore’s Readiness

September 14, 2017

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched a giant funding effort to ensure the United States can sustain the pace of electronic innovation vital to both a flourishing economy and a secure military. Under the banner of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI), some $500-$800 million will be invested in post-Moore’s Law technologies. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Breaks Ground for Complex Quantum Chemistry

September 14, 2017

IBM has reported the use of a novel algorithm to simulate BeH2 (beryllium-hydride) on a quantum computer. This is the largest molecule so far simulated on a quantum computer. The technique, which used six qubits of a seven-qubit system, is an important step forward and may suggest an approach to simulating ever larger molecules. Read more…

By John Russell

Cubes, Culture, and a New Challenge: Trish Damkroger Talks about Life at Intel—and Why HPC Matters More Than Ever

September 13, 2017

Trish Damkroger wasn’t looking to change jobs when she attended SC15 in Austin, Texas. Capping a 15-year career within Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories, she was acting Associate Director for Computation at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Her mission was to equip the lab’s scientists and research partners with resources that would advance their cutting-edge work... Read more…

By Jan Rowell

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab Targets Algorithms, AI Physics

September 7, 2017

Investment continues to flow into artificial intelligence research, especially in key areas such as AI algorithms that promise to move the technology from speci Read more…

By George Leopold

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

NERSC Scales Scientific Deep Learning to 15 Petaflops

August 28, 2017

A collaborative effort between Intel, NERSC and Stanford has delivered the first 15-petaflops deep learning software running on HPC platforms and is, according Read more…

By Rob Farber

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

Oracle Layoffs Reportedly Hit SPARC and Solaris Hard

September 7, 2017

Oracle’s latest layoffs have many wondering if this is the end of the line for the SPARC processor and Solaris OS development. As reported by multiple sources Read more…

By John Russell

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

Six Exascale PathForward Vendors Selected; DoE Providing $258M

June 15, 2017

The much-anticipated PathForward awards for hardware R&D in support of the Exascale Computing Project were announced today with six vendors selected – AMD Read more…

By John Russell

Top500 Results: Latest List Trends and What’s in Store

June 19, 2017

Greetings from Frankfurt and the 2017 International Supercomputing Conference where the latest Top500 list has just been revealed. Although there were no major Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

IBM Clears Path to 5nm with Silicon Nanosheets

June 5, 2017

Two years since announcing the industry’s first 7nm node test chip, IBM and its research alliance partners GlobalFoundries and Samsung have developed a proces Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Releases Deeplearn.js to Further Democratize Machine Learning

August 17, 2017

Spreading the use of machine learning tools is one of the goals of Google’s PAIR (People + AI Research) initiative, which was introduced in early July. Last w Read more…

By John Russell

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray Moves to Acquire the Seagate ClusterStor Line

July 28, 2017

This week Cray announced that it is picking up Seagate's ClusterStor HPC storage array business for an undisclosed sum. "In short we're effectively transitioning the bulk of the ClusterStor product line to Cray," said CEO Peter Ungaro. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Amazon Debuts New AMD-based GPU Instances for Graphics Acceleration

September 12, 2017

Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) streaming service, AppStream 2.0, introduced a new GPU instance called Graphics Design intended to accelerate graphics. The Read more…

By John Russell

GlobalFoundries: 7nm Chips Coming in 2018, EUV in 2019

June 13, 2017

GlobalFoundries has formally announced that its 7nm technology is ready for customer engagement with product tape outs expected for the first half of 2018. The Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This