Convection-resolving climate modeling on future supercomputing platforms (crCLIM)

Main content

The crCLIM project aims to develop a European-scale convection-resolving climate modeling capability at a horizontal resolution of about 2 km using the next generation of supercomputing platforms.

crCLMI animation  
Animation of European-scale simulations for a day in July 2006, with a visualization of the cloud cover and precipitation rates (in mm/h). The panels show a 12-km simulation with parameterized convection (left panel) and a 2-km simulation with explicit convection (right panel). Note the more realistic representation of short-term precipitation and the organization of convection in the 2 km simulation (from PhD of David Leutwyler, ETH Zurich, project crCLIM).
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Major uncertainties remain in our understanding of the processes that govern the water cycle in a changing climate and their representation in weather and climate models. Of particular concern are heavy precipitation events of convective origin (thunderstorms and rain showers).

The crCLIM project attempts to better represent these processes by developing a European-scale climate modeling capability at a horizontal resolution of about 2 km. This resolution is about 10 to 100 times higher than in conventional climate models. With such resolution, it becomes possible to explicitly represent relevant processes (for example the dynamics of deep convective and thunderstorm clouds) without using semi-empirical parameterizations. To achieve its goals, the project will exploit the next generation of high-performance computing architectures.

From a computer science perspective, this development poses major challenges. First, the need for increasing computer power requires the application of codes on emerging hardware architectures that includes heterogeneous many-core architectures consisting of both "traditional" central processing units (CPUs) and accelerators (e.g., GPUs). Second, with increasing computational resolution, the model output becomes unbearably voluminous, which requires new approaches to perform the analysis online rather than storing the model output.

The crCLIM project is highly interdisciplinary as it combines the expertise of climate and computational scientists. Ultimately, crCLIM will lead to a substantial reduction of some of the key uncertainties in the current generation of climate models, yield an improved representation of the water cycle including the drivers of extreme events (heavy precipitation events, floods, droughts, etc.), and enable more sophisticated climate change scenarios. This, in turn, will provide better guidance for impact assessment and climate change adaptation measures.  

Partners

The project crCLIM is funded by the Sinergia program of the Swiss National Science Foundation and coordinated by Christoph Schär. It includes the following partners:

People

The project crCLIM is organised in 4 subprojects which are all intimely connected. In addition, C2SM provides support for the COSMO model development and maintenance.

Animations

  • Leutwyler, D., O. Fuhrer, X. Lapillonne,  D. Lüthi, C. Schär, 2015: Continental-Scale Climate Simulation at Kilometer-Resolution. ETH Zurich e-collection, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-010483656 (short description and animation), online video on Vimeo.
  • Leutwyler, D., O. Fuhrer, X. Lapillonne,  D. Lüthi, C. Schär, 2015: Winter storm Kyrill in a Continental-Scale Convection-Resolving Climate Simulation. ETH Zurich e-collection, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-010483662 (short description and animation), online video on Vimeo.

Publications

  • Leutwyler, D., Fuhrer, O., Lapillonne, X., Lüthi, D., and Schär, C., 2016: Towards European-scale convection-resolving climate simulations with GPUs: a study with COSMO 4.19, Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 3393-3412, doi:10.5194/gmd-9-3393-2016.

Continental-scale climate simulation at kilometer-resolution by Leutwyler, D., O. Fuhrer, X. Lapillonne, D. Lüthi, C. Schär, 2015.
Winter storm Kyrill in a Continental-scale convection-resolving climate simulation, by Leutwyler, D., O. Fuhrer, X. Lapillonne, D. Lüthi, C. Schär, 2015.
 
 
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Tue Mar 28 02:17:16 CEST 2017
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