Powering Global Climate Science

By Tiffany Trader

April 10, 2014

With the much-talked-about upcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), titled “Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change,” scheduled to be released on Sunday, we thought it fitting to highlight the community that makes this large-scale climate research possible, the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF). The ESGF is an international collaboration for the software that powers most global climate change research, including assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This interagency effort is led by the Department of Energy (DOE) with co-funding coming from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and international laboratories such as the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ), the Australian National University (ANU) National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), and the British Atmospheric Data Center (BADC).

The mission of the ESGF is to provide the worldwide climate-research community with access to the data, information, codes and analysis tools necessary to make sense of enormous climate data sets. For the ESGF, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Earth System Grid Center for Enabling Technologies (ESG-CET) team developed and delivered a production environment for managing and accessing extreme-scale climate data. This production environment serves a worldwide community with climate data from multiple climate model sources, ocean model data, observation data, as well as analysis and visualization tools.

Data holdings and services are distributed across multiple sites including ESG-CET sites – ANL, LANL, LBNL/NERSC, LLNL/PCMDI, NCAR, and ORNL – as well as partners sites, such as the Australian National University National Computational Infrastructure, the British Atmospheric Data Centre, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, the German Climate Computing Centre, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

According to a recent report authored by principal investigator Ann Louise Chervenak with the University of Southern California, one of the seven initial ESG-CET partners, “ESGF software is distinguished from other collaborative knowledge systems in the climate community by its widespread adoption, federation capabilities, and broad developer base. It is the leading source for present climate data holdings, including the most important and largest data sets in the global climate community, and – assuming its development continues – we expect it to be the leading source for future climate data holdings as well.”

In the Final Report for University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute, titled “DOE SciDAC’s Earth System Grid Center for Enabling Technologies,” Chernavak conveys the comprehensive scope of the Earth System Grid and the numerous ways it is facilitating global climate science.

“As we transition from development activities to production and operations, the ESG-CET team is tasked with making data available to all users seeking to understand, process, extract value from, visualize, and/or communicate it to others — this is of course if funding continues at some level,” the report states. “This ongoing effort, though daunting in scope and complexity, would greatly magnify the value of numerical climate model outputs and climate observations for future national and international climate-assessment reports. The ESG-CET team also faces substantial technical challenges due to the rapidly increasing scale of climate simulation and observational data, which will grow, for example, from less than 50 terabytes for the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment to multiple petabytes for the next IPCC assessment. In a world of exponential technological change and rapidly growing sophistication in climate data analysis, an infrastructure such as ESGF must constantly evolve if it is to remain relevant and useful.”

ESGF P2P graphic

Despite the project’s significant role, this final paper also marks the end of ESG-CET’s funding stream; however, the system they helped create lives on. A principal aim of ESG-CET was implementing a peer-to-peer system of distributed nodes. This model allows the management of system information and the execution of data requests to be shared and spread across distributed nodes that are comprised of modular, pluggable components that interact through a lightweight messaging system.

Supporting critical earth science research continues under the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) Peer-to-Peer (P2P) project. Per the ESGF.org website, “ESGF P2P is a component architecture expressly designed to handle large-scale data management for worldwide distribution. The team of computer scientists and climate scientists has developed an operational system for serving climate data from multiple locations and sources. Model simulations, satellite observations, and reanalysis products are all being served from the ESGF P2P distributed data archive.”

The ESGF is also in the midst of some big changes. Known for supporting large-scale climate change research, the ESGF will soon be servicing two additional domains critical to 21st century life: biology/pharmacology and energy research.

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!

Researchers Scale COSMO Climate Code to 4888 GPUs on Piz Daint

October 17, 2017

Effective global climate simulation, sorely needed to anticipate and cope with global warming, has long been computationally challenging. Two of the major obstacles are the needed resolution and prolonged time to compute Read more…

By John Russell

UCSD Web-based Tool Tracking CA Wildfires Generates 1.5M Views

October 16, 2017

Tracking the wildfires raging in northern CA is an unpleasant but necessary part of guiding efforts to fight the fires and safely evacuate affected residents. One such tool – Firemap – is a web-based tool developed b Read more…

By John Russell

Exascale Imperative: New Movie from HPE Makes a Compelling Case

October 13, 2017

Why is pursuing exascale computing so important? In a new video – Hewlett Packard Enterprise: Eighteen Zeros – four HPE executives, a prominent national lab HPC researcher, and HPCwire managing editor Tiffany Trader Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

“Lunch & Learn” to Explore the Growing Applications of Genomic Analytics

In the digital age of medicine, healthcare providers are rapidly transforming their approach to patient care. Traditional technologies are no longer sufficient to process vast quantities of medical data (including patient histories, treatment plans, diagnostic reports, and more), challenging organizations to invest in a new style of IT to enable faster and higher-quality care. Read more…

Intel Delivers 17-Qubit Quantum Chip to European Research Partner

October 10, 2017

On Tuesday, Intel delivered a 17-qubit superconducting test chip to research partner QuTech, the quantum research institute of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The announcement marks a major milestone in the 10-year, $50-million collaborative relationship with TU Delft and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research, to accelerate advancements in quantum computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Delivers 17-Qubit Quantum Chip to European Research Partner

October 10, 2017

On Tuesday, Intel delivered a 17-qubit superconducting test chip to research partner QuTech, the quantum research institute of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The announcement marks a major milestone in the 10-year, $50-million collaborative relationship with TU Delft and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research, to accelerate advancements in quantum computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fujitsu Tapped to Build 37-Petaflops ABCI System for AIST

October 10, 2017

Fujitsu announced today it will build the long-planned AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) which is set to become the fastest supercomputer system in Japan Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Intel Debuts Programmable Acceleration Card

October 5, 2017

With a view toward supporting complex, data-intensive applications, such as AI inference, video streaming analytics, database acceleration and genomics, Intel i Read more…

By Doug Black

OLCF’s 200 Petaflops Summit Machine Still Slated for 2018 Start-up

October 3, 2017

The Department of Energy’s planned 200 petaflops Summit computer, which is currently being installed at Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, is on track t Read more…

By John Russell

US Exascale Program – Some Additional Clarity

September 28, 2017

The last time we left the Department of Energy’s exascale computing program in July, things were looking very positive. Both the U.S. House and Senate had pas Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute 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

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue 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

Leading Solution Providers

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

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

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

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Intel Launches Software Tools to Ease FPGA Programming

September 5, 2017

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have a reputation for being difficult to program, requiring expertise in specialty languages, like Verilog or VHDL. Easin Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Advances Web-based Quantum Programming

September 5, 2017

IBM Research is pairing its Jupyter-based Data Science Experience notebook environment with its cloud-based quantum computer, IBM Q, in hopes of encouraging a new class of entrepreneurial user to solve intractable problems that even exceed the capabilities of the best AI systems. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Intel, NERSC and University Partners Launch New Big Data Center

August 17, 2017

A collaboration between the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), Intel and five Intel Parallel Computing Cente Read more…

By Linda Barney

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