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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: development and technical paper 11 Aug 2020

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 11 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

ESM-Tools Version 4.0: A modular infrastructure for stand-alone and coupled Earth System Modelling (ESM)

Dirk Barbi1, Nadine Wieters1, Paul Gierz1, Fatemeh Chegini1,3, Sara Khosravi2, and Luisa Cristini1 Dirk Barbi et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. Earth system and climate modelling involves the simulation of processes on a wide range of scales and within and across various components of the Earth system. In practice, component models are often developed independently by different research groups and then combined using a dedicated coupling software. This procedure not only leads to a strongly growing number of available versions of model components and coupled setups but also to model- and system-dependent ways of obtaining and operating them. Therefore, implementing these Earth System Models (ESMs) can be challenging and extremely time-consuming, especially for less experienced modellers, or scientists aiming to use different ESMs as in the case of inter-comparison projects.

To assist researchers and modellers by reducing avoidable complexity, we developed the ESM-Tools software, which provides a standard way for downloading, configuring, compiling, running and monitoring different models - coupled ESMs and stand-alone models alike - on a variety of High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems. (The ESM-Tools are equally applicable and helpful for stand-alone as for coupled models. In fact, the ESM-Tools are used as standard compile and runtime infrastructure for FESOM2, and currently also applied for ECHAM and ICON standalone simulations. As coupled ESMs are technically the more challenging tasks, we will focus on coupled setups, always implying that stand-alone models can benefit in the same way.) With the ESM-Tools, the user is only required to provide a short script consisting of only the experiment specific definitions, while the software executes all the phases of a simulation in the correct order. The software, which is well documented and easy to install and use, currently supports four ocean models, three atmosphere models, two biogeochemistry models, an ice sheet model, an isostatic adjustment model, a hydrology model and a land-surface model. ESM-Tools has been entirely re-coded in a high-level programming language (Python) and provides researchers with an even more user-friendly interface for Earth system modelling lately. The ESM-Tools were developed within the framework of the project Advanced Earth System Model Capacity, supported by the Helmholtz Association.

Dirk Barbi et al.

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Dirk Barbi et al.

Dirk Barbi et al.


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