Oxford e-Research Centre teams up with ECMWF to enable scientists to run the OpenIFS weather model on thousands of people’s home computers.

By Sarah Sparrow

The OpenIFShome project was launched on 18 June during this year’s OpenIFS user workshop at the University of Reading.

Scientists will be able to study events such as tropical storm Karl, which developed in the Atlantic in September 2016, using the OpenIFShome project. (Image: NASA Visible Earth, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response team)

OpenIFShome brings together two powerful tools: OpenIFS, an easy-to-use, supported version of ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) widely used in research and education; and Climateprediction.net (CPDN) at the University of Oxford, a highly successful volunteer computing project that has been running since 2003.

“CPDN has benefited from the power provided by more than 600,000 home computers over the last 15 years and currently has about 32,000 active volunteers on board,” says Professor David Wallom, who oversees innovation at the Oxford e-Research Centre (Department of Engineering Science).

“By exploiting the distributed computing power provided by tens of thousands of volunteers, CPDN can run weather and climate experiments that would be too computationally demanding even for supercomputers,” he points out.

David explains that such computing power is required when scientists want to run thousands of slightly perturbed versions of a model for the same event.

“Very large ensembles of weather and climate simulations are essential to study the predictability of extreme events,” says Antje Weisheimer, an ECMWF scientist who also works at the University of Oxford.

Antje gives the example of Karl, a tropical storm that developed in the Atlantic in September 2016. The NAWDEX field campaign observed the storm as it interacted with the jet stream.

“This storm attracted a lot of interest among researchers studying the reasons for weather forecast busts in Europe,” Antje says.

“In order to study the predictability of such storms and their impact on subsequent weather in Europe, we need to run thousands of slightly perturbed simulations, and this …read more

Read more here:: https://www.climateprediction.net/oxford-e-research-centre-teams-up-with-ecmwf-to-enable-scientists-to-run-the-openifs-weather-model-on-thousands-of-peoples-home-computers/

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