Articles | Volume 9, issue 10
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 3639–3654, 2016

Special issue: The Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy) (ACP/GMD inter-journal...

Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 3639–3654, 2016

Development and technical paper 13 Oct 2016

Development and technical paper | 13 Oct 2016

A diagnostic interface for the ICOsahedral Non-hydrostatic (ICON) modelling framework based on the Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy v2.50)

Bastian Kern and Patrick Jöckel Bastian Kern and Patrick Jöckel
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Abstract. Numerical climate and weather models have advanced to finer scales, accompanied by large amounts of output data. The model systems hit the input and output (I/O) bottleneck of modern high-performance computing (HPC) systems. We aim to apply diagnostic methods online during the model simulation instead of applying them as a post-processing step to written output data, to reduce the amount of I/O. To include diagnostic tools into the model system, we implemented a standardised, easy-to-use interface based on the Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy) into the ICOsahedral Non-hydrostatic (ICON) modelling framework. The integration of the diagnostic interface into the model system is briefly described.

Furthermore, we present a prototype implementation of an advanced online diagnostic tool for the aggregation of model data onto a user-defined regular coarse grid. This diagnostic tool will be used to reduce the amount of model output in future simulations.

Performance tests of the interface and of two different diagnostic tools show, that the interface itself introduces no overhead in form of additional runtime to the model system. The diagnostic tools, however, have significant impact on the model system's runtime. This overhead strongly depends on the characteristics and implementation of the diagnostic tool. A diagnostic tool with high inter-process communication introduces large overhead, whereas the additional runtime of a diagnostic tool without inter-process communication is low. We briefly describe our efforts to reduce the additional runtime from the diagnostic tools, and present a brief analysis of memory consumption. Future work will focus on optimisation of the memory footprint and the I/O operations of the diagnostic interface.

Short summary
Input and output of large data limit the performance of numerical models on supercomputers. We present an interface for the calculation of online diagnostics in a weather and climate model. These diagnostics are calculated online during the simulation instead of as subsequent post-processing. Depending on the diagnostic, we can reduce the amount of model output.