EGU23-13331, updated on 08 Apr 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Data challenges and opportunities from nascent kilometre-scale simulations

Valentine Anantharaj1, Samuel Hatfield2, Inna Polichtchouk2, and Nils Wedi2
Valentine Anantharaj et al.
  • 1Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Center for Computational Sciences, Oak Ridge, United States of America (
  • 2European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK

Computational experiments using earth system models, approaching kilometre-scale (k-scale) horizontal resolutions, are becoming increasingly common across modeling centers. Recent advances in high performance computing systems, along with efficient parallel algorithms that are capable of leveraging accelerator hardware, have made k-scale models affordable for specific purposes. Surrogate models developed using machine learning methods also promise to further reduce the computational cost while enhancing model fidelity. The “avalanche of data from k-scale models” (Slingo et al., 2022) has also posed new challenges in processing, managing, and provisioning data to the broader user community. 

During recent years, a joint effort between the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has succeeded in simulating “a baseline for weather and climate simulations at 1-km resolution,” (Wedi et al., 2020) using the Summit supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Facility (OLCF). The ECMWF hydrostatic Integrated Forecasting System (IFS), with explicit deep convection on an average grid spacing of 1.4 km, was used to perform a set of experimental nature runs (XNR) spanning two seasons corresponding to a northern hemispheric winter (NDJF), and August - October (ASO) months corresponding the tropical cyclone season in the North Atlantic. 

We developed a bespoke workflow to process and archive over 2 PB of data from the 1-km XNR simulations (XNR1K). Further, we have also facilitated access to the XNR1K data via an open science data hackathon. The hackathon projects also have access to a data analytics cluster to further process and analyze the data. The OLCF data center supports high speed data sharing via globus data transfer mechanism. External users are using the XNR1K data for a number of ongoing research projects, including observing system simulation experiments, designing satellite instruments for severe storms, developing surrogate models, understanding atmospheric processes, and generating high-fidelity visualizations.

During our presentation we will share our challenges, experiences and lessons learned related to the processing, provisioning and management of the large volume of data, and the stakeholder engagement and logistics of the open science data hackathon.

Slingo, J., Bates, P., Bauer, P. et al. (2022) Ambitious partnership needed for reliable climate prediction. Nat. Clim. Chang.

Wedi, N., Polichtchouk, I., et al. (2020) A Baseline for Global Weather and Climate Simulations at 1 km Resolution, JAMES.

How to cite: Anantharaj, V., Hatfield, S., Polichtchouk, I., and Wedi, N.: Data challenges and opportunities from nascent kilometre-scale simulations, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13331,, 2023.