Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The PRISM infrastructure, including detailed documentation

The PRISM project has been established to enhance the efficiency of Earth System modelling through the development of a common coupling infrastructure for all aspects of Earth System modelling.

An important part of the infrastructure is the PRISM software. It comprises the PRISM couplers (OASIS3 and OASIS4), associated libraries, as well as standardised and portable environments for model compilation and execution (SCE and SRE). Besides, tools for post-processing and visualisation of model output data have been developed. Depending on the user's preferences it is possible to set-up, run and monitor an experiment through a graphical user interface (GUI) or at the scripting level.

Many state-of-the-art European component models have been adapted to the PRISM standards. The list comprises models for all components of the Earth System, i.e. atmosphere, chemistry, vegetation, ocean, cryosphere and bio-geo-chemistry models. A number of combinations of these component models have been assembled to run coupled configurations. Experiments have been performed on diverse platforms, e.g. NEC-SX, SGI-Origin, Fujitsu-VPP, IBM-Power4, CRAY X1 and different linux platforms. Tables of component models, of the coupled model configurations and of the platforms that have been integrated to the PRISM system are available on the web

The PRISM infrastructure allows for easy exchange of component models or model results between different scientists and European research centres. This was achieved through a high level of modularity, portability and flexibility. Besides, all components of the system are well documented and easy-to-use.

Standards have been defined for the interfaces between different models and between the models and the couplers. This is fostering very much the exchange of individual components within a coupled Earth System model. One important aspect is the definition of a common data format (netCDF/CF) for model I/O as well as for the post-processing and visualisation tools. This potentiates experiment and model inter-comparison at minimum effort.

Besides the technical achievements, one important success of PRISM is that it has brought the different partners of the European Earth system research community to interact and work closely together. This led to invaluable trust building, naturally opening up into scientific co-operation and co-ordination. The PRISM climate research network comprises more than 20 partners from ten different European countries, among them four computer manufacturers.

Strong collaboration was established with related project in the US (Earth System Modelling Framework, ESMF), Japan (Earth Simulator Centre) and elsewhere (FLUME project of the UK Met Office, COSMOS project at MPI-MET).

The PRISM infrastructure enables scientists and institutions to share the development, maintenance and support of a comprehensive Earth System modelling software environment. This not only minimises developing costs but also enhances co-operation between the different research centres, as all state-of-the art component models integrated to the PRISM System use common standards and give a common look-and-feel.

The computer manufacturers contribute to the infrastructure, as they foster the efficiency of the PRISM software (porting, optimisation) on a variety of platforms. This allows the scientists to focus on Earth System science. On the other hand, the Earth System modelling community will affect the new generation computing platforms towards their needs.

Related information

Reported by

MPI für Meteorologie, Gruppe M&D
Bundesstr. 55
20146 Hamburg
See on map
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top