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Collaboration Weaves Disparate Weather, Climate Models Together

July 20, 2005

BOULDER—A multiagency collaborative of researchers has announced the first successful melding of computer models from several different organizations into four new simulations of Earth's physical system.

NCAR is part of the community effort creating the simulations, which are field trials of the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF), a national-scale collaboration building a standard software platform that allows different weather, climate, and data-assimilation components to operate together on parallel supercomputers.

In addition to NCAR, the ESMF partners on the field tests are

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), operated by the Department of Energy
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, operated by NASA
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) and National Centers for Environmental Prediction, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

The framework increases cross-disciplinary communication, making it possible for scientists and software developers, weather forecasters and climate modelers to share software more easily, port codes to a variety of computing platforms, and reuse common code in a variety of applications.

ESMF software is component-based, meaning that it allows researchers to easily assemble complex models by representing the models as collections of smaller components that are coupled together. Researchers using ESMF have a standard way to add new capabilities and swap in different options, making it much simpler for them to exchange codes with other groups and institutions, and facilitating the free flow of ideas.

Details on the four simulations, or interoperability experiments, are described on the NASA Web site.

ESMF Interactive Poster - Click to enlarge
Click here or on the image to enlarge this interactive poster describing the many disparate components being woven together into the Earth System Modeling Framework. (Image courtesy NASA Computational Technologies Project.)

Demonstrations of the software and the field tests are taking place at the Fourth ESMF Community Meeting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 20-22.

NCAR, home of the core implementation team, is scheduled to release ESMF Version 2.2.0 this month. The implementation reflects architecture that has been developed and refined by a collaborative team of key scientists and software engineers from NOAA GFDL, NASA GSFC, MIT, LANL, and NCAR.

 Related sites on the World Wide Web 

Earth System Modeling Framework home page

SCD News: Fourth ESMF Community Meeting to be held at MIT July 20-22

NASA: Field Tests Unite Weather and Climate Models


The National Center for Atmospheric Research and UCAR Office of Programs are operated by UCAR under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation and other agencies. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any of UCAR's sponsors.

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