Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Recommendations for a European climate computing facility

The Earth System Modelling community in Europe is organised in the European Network for Earth System Modelling ENES (

A major challenge for the climate research community is the development of comprehensive Earth system models capable of simulating natural climate variability and human-induced climate changes. Such models need to account for detailed processes occurring in the atmosphere, the ocean and on the continents including physical, chemical and biological processes on a variety of spatial and temporal scales. They have also to capture complex non-linear interactions between the different components of the Earth system and assess how these interactions can be perturbed as a result of human activities. The PRISM infrastructure is improving the European capability in this area to a large extent.

Accurate scientific information is required by government and industry to make appropriate decisions regarding our global environment, with direct consequences on the economy and lifestyles. It is therefore the responsibility of the scientific community to accelerate progress towards a better understanding of the processes governing the Earth system and towards the development of an improved predictive capability. An important task is to develop an advanced software and hardware environment in Europe, under which the most advanced high-resolution climate models can be developed, improved, and integrated.

Aspects of the improvement of the hardware environment are described in this result, which is a draft for a brochure that was planned for wider distribution within ENES, and beyond. It contains descriptions of the questions rendered to be politically and scientifically important, and the methods to approach answers to them, which result in the need for a large scale European Climate Computing Facility. Architecture for such a facility is then proposed, considering general requirements, GRID technologies, compute power, data storage, wide area network connectivity, support services, staffing and site requirements, and the procurement process. It closes with considerations about funding and management.

Since this topic is a politically difficult one, a group of people is currently revisiting this draft, and plans to come up with a more comprehensive and appropriate version in the course of 2005.

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Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology
Bundesstr. 55
20146 Hamburg
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