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Overview and Background

The ESiWACE projects within the European high-performance computing strategy

thumbnail_OVERVIEWNumerical weather prediction and climate modelling are highly dependent on the available computing power and the ability to produce, store and analyse large amounts of simulated data. All of these points directly impact the achievable spatial resolution and, thus, the level at which physical processes can be directly resolved in a simulation. To improve global weather and climate simulation, small-scale processes e.g. precipitation or evaporation are needed. Such global high-resolution, that is kilometre-scale resolving, simulations require more computing power than today’s high-performance computing (HPC) systems have to offer.

Within the European HPC Strategy, the European Commission (EC) is investing into preparing application domains for upcoming exascale supercomputing, which is expected to become available in the early to mid 2020s. Under the corresponding umbrella of the Centres of Excellence (CoEs) for computing applications, the “Centre of Excellence in Simulation of Weather and Climate in Europe” was selected for funding by the EC to substantially improve efficiency and productivity of numerical weather and climate simulation, supporting the entire end-to-end workflow of global Earth system modelling. It follows a user-driven approach and therefore leverages two established European networks: the European Network for Earth system modeling (ENES) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

The work is being carried out in two consecutive projects:

ESiWACE (2015 – 2019)
The first project aims at supporting (1) scalability of models, tools and data management on state-of-the-art supercomputer systems, (2) usability of models and tools throughout the European HPC ecosystem and (3) the exploitability of the huge amounts of resulting data. Within this scope, specific software packages  are being developed and supported which are necessary for an effective deployment of user-facing model deployment including both, computing and storage aspects. A special focus lies on the establishment of global high-resolution, that is kilometre-scale resolving, simulation demonstrators,  which examine and improve performance of existing community-driven simulation models.

ESiWACE2 (2019 – 2022)
In this project, the global high-resolution models will be pushed towards production on European pre-exascale systems, which are aimed to be set up in 2021. The project focuses on (1) further exploring suitable innovative technologies to improve the model performance, (2) the development of processing tools for a more efficient data in- and output and on (3) providing enhanced support and training of the community.


The aimed global high-resolution simulations will open up entirely new research opportunities and perspectives. Overall, the “Centre of Excellence in Simulation of Weather and Climate in Europe” will prepare the European weather and climate community to make use of future exascale systems in a co-design effort involving modelling groups, computer scientists and HPC industry. These efforts will contribute to stretching the capability and capacity of existing software and hardware to the limits, and therefore directly impact both weather and climate modelling and the competitiveness of the European HPC industry.

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EGU 2019 Apr 07, 2019 - Apr 12, 2019 — Vienna (AT)
EXDCI-2 workshop on High Performance Data Analytics May 13, 2019 - May 17, 2019 — Poznan (PL)
ISC 2019 Jun 16, 2019 - Jun 20, 2019 — Frankfurt (DE)
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