On November 6th, 2018 our project coordinator Thomas Jung presented at the Helmholtz Horizon Symposium, held in Berlin to share and present the work that the scientists of the Helmholtz Association carry out. Focus of Helmholtz Horizons this year were the perspectives and challenges of digital data processing in the different scientific fields, what impact does a digital evolution have on data-based research and the opportunities that it opens for our projects at Helmholtz. Many international scientists as well as young researchers of our institutes had the opportunity to present their cutting-edge work and the prospects that a digital development can offer.
In his presentation Thomas Jung showed how Earth system modelling can benefit from the advances in the field of exascale computing. The spatial resolution at which climate and weather simulations are performed is a key factor in defining the skill of the models in representing Earth system phenomena spanning a wide range of time scales. The employment of high resolution meshes has the potential to foster accurate predictions of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and draughts, but also to improve the reliability of long-term climate projections, which are fundamental to effectively counteract climate change. The ocean and sea ice model FESOM developed at the Alfred-Wegener-Institute provides a good example of how the next generation of supercomputers can be efficiently used to run high resolution simulations that tackles frontier scientific questions. The possibility of distributing higher spatial resolution where really needed, together with its good scaling capabilities, allow FESOM to achieve a throughput that most of the other ocean models currently do not have.
Thanks to this platform, a broad public has been made aware of the potentials of exascale computing in climate science and its relevance for Earth system modelling.