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Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK)

Is the description we used in the proposal still up to date? Please check it here: The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of seven research councils in the UK. Its facilities, instruments, and expertise support an extremely wide range of research at universities, in research councils, and industry. The research council is one of Europe’s largest multi-disciplinary research organisations, and has considerable world-class research expertise in areas ranging from nanostructures to lasers, from particle physics to cosmology, from high performance computing and supercomputing to peta-scale data management.

STFC, in particular, provides services to NERC, the National Environment Research Council, so support climate modelling and climate data management. These services include data services for CEDA, the Centre for Environmental Data Archival, and the JASMIN high performance computing cluster, which is backed by the largest Panasas storage system in the world (or at least the largest which is not secret.) The services also include the tapestore, which holds climate data for NERC and both archives the data and manages access for researchers both within STFC and NERC and in the wider research community. As an example, consider the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): very large data volumes and rigorous analysis are required to develop trustworthy results, and SCD’s science infrastructure for climate research holds about two thirds of all the data used for the report.

As a partner in this project, STFC’s work is split across the Scientific Computing Department (SCD) which provides the expertise in data storage and processing, and the RAL Space department which will provide the expertise in climate modelling and the data formats used.

Role in the project

STFC’s role in the project is twofold: first to investigate and optimise metadata management for climate data files, in collaboration with the ESiWACE partners and the HDF group, and secondly to investigate the future of data storage for climate data. Currently STFC runs a large tape-backed datastore and metadata databases; data services are provided to, for example, the Natural Environment Research Council ( via the Centre for Environmental Data Archival (

Names of the colleagues involved

Prof. Bryan Lawrence (National Centre for Atmospheric Science and STFC RAL Space), Dr Jens Jensen (STFC Scientific Computing Department), Dr Martin Juckes (STFC RAL Space), Brian Davies (STFC Scientific Computing Department)

Relevant infrastructure and services available for climate & weather

"STFC runs the JASMIN facility for climate research. As of Jan. 16, JASMIN comprised 4,000 CPU cores interconnected with 10Gb/s networks providing 8 microsecond latency MPI. Data storage is provided by the largest single site Panasas storage system in the world: with 16PB capacity and 3 Tb/s bandwidth, tested transferring 250 gigabytes per second. Archive storage is provided by the tapestore with a nominal capacity of 180PB, and currently holding about 7.5PB of climate data."


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