NSC and SMHI contribute to global climate research

Starting in the autumn of 2019, climate data has been delivered to the global climate research programme CMIP6 from the NSC at Linköping University. This is the result of a long-standing collaboration between SMHI and the NSC.

Buildings for the HPC resources at LiU. Buildings for the HPC resources at LiU. THOR BALKHED

All our current knowledge about how the Earth and its systems function has been gathered into several computer models known as “earth system models”. Researchers around the world use these to understand how the climate is changing and how this will affect life on the planet. One of the models has been developed by a European consortium, EC-Earth, of which the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) is a member. The third generation of the European model has been constructed within EC Earth, and adapted to a larger global model known as the Coupled Model Intercomparison (CMIP).


CMIP, which is now in its sixth phase (CMIP6), is part of the World Climate Research Programme, and is an initiative to coordinate and unify all the climate models developed at different locations around the world. Approximately 30 research groups and more than 1,000 researchers are now working together to develop and deliver the highest possible Fika at National Supercomputer Centre. Photo credit David EinarDavid Einarquality of climate models to form the basis for negotiations and proposed measures.
These coordinated climate models now provide the support information for reports into global warming from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

SHMI and other members of EC-Earth, including research centres in Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Finland, were in varying stages of producing CMIP6 data during 2019, a selection of which has now been published and made publicly available. Further data will be added during 2020. These data are accessible from the Earth System Federation nodes, one of which is operated by the National Supercomputer Centre (NSC) at Linköping University.

Processing climate data requires huge computing power, thousands of hours of processing time in supercomputers, and efforts are under way to reduce the need to repeat the calculations. In the Nordic region, the work is supported by the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC), through a project known as NICEST (the Nordic Infrastructure Collaboration on Earth System Tools). Several people from the NSC are involved in the NICEST project.

Huge computing power

Within CMIP, NICEST is working with the dissemination of knowledge and preparations to pass the data on to CMIP6. This involves, for example, the quality assurance of the data input to the model, training users in the tools, and support for the administration team for the Nordic node of the Earth System Grid Federation.

Prashanth Dwarakanath“Our participation in CMIP6 is a major commitment for us, greater than in previous phases of the project. This is the case for both technology and personnel. Our ability to contribute to CMIP6 is the result of many years’ successful collaboration between SMHI and the NSC”, says Prashanth Dwarakanath, project manager in climate data infrastructure and services at NSC.

“More data from the Nordic meteorological institutes, such as SMHI, Met Norway, DMI, FMI, the University of Helsinki, and the Bolin Center in Stockholm, will be published as soon as the groups have completed their simulations and subjected the results to quality assurance”, Chandan Basu, head of the work within NICEST at NSC confirms.

Read more, external links
CMIP6 data at the Earth System Grid Federation server at NSC-LIU

Information about CMIP6

Information about EC-EARTH

The NICEST project

Translated by George Farrants


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