With the award, the Supercomputing Conference 2021 (SC'21) acknowledges the year’s most impressive videos in high-performance computing. The video contributions are judged by their overall quality, by how they illuminate science, and with regard to creative innovation in the production process.

The winning video takes us on a journey through the months of May, June and July of a year-long coupled global storm-resolving ocean-atmosphere simulation performed with the Earth system model ICON-ESM. Within the scope of the DYAMOND initiative and ICON-Sapphire, and supported by ESiWACE2, the coupled model was run at 5 km horizontal resolution with 90 vertical levels, producing a huge amount of 3D data with approximately 20 million grid cells per level.

Unlike for most visualisations of global climate datasets, the team selected the unique view of a Spilhaus projection for their SC’21 video. Showing the world oceans as one interconnected body of water, the Spilhaus projection puts the ocean into the center, without cutouts or clipping planes and with only minor distortions, allowing the viewer to fully focus on the 3D atmospheric and ocean data and their interaction over time.
Using state-of-the art visualisation techniques such as bump mapping, isosurfaces, volume rendering with OSPRay raytracing and 3D glyphs, the video and narration comprehensibly illustrate the variables and the interaction of atmospheric and oceanic features. We get to see winds, sea surface pressure, clouds as a composition of liquid cloud water and cloud ice, sea surface velocity and sea ice, sea surface and ocean temperature and salinity, and learn how they interact, forming currents, ocean eddies, mixing processes etc.

The visualisation was created by Niklas Röber of DKRZ, who also presented the showcase at the conference. The data were visualised using ParaView 5.7.1. and rendering was performed using Intel OSPRay, one of the two raytracing back ends available in ParaView.

Further information:

Description of the video (pdf file):

Presentation video at SC'21:

Visualisation video: