BSC leads the new phase of the European Centre of Excellence in Weather and Climate Simulations - ESiWACE

27 November 2023

The main objective of this phase of the project is to help the European Earth systems modelling community achieve a higher level of accuracy and precision in their climate and weather research and simulations

Led by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS), the third phase of the Centre of Excellence in Simulation of Weather and Climate in Europe - ESiWACE3 is holding its second General Assembly virtually this week. ESiWACE3 was launched earlier this year as part of the European Commission's Centres of Excellence to support research and innovation actions to develop and adapt high-performance computing (HPC) applications in the exascale and post-exascale era.

Co-financed by the European Commission (EC) through the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) with a total budget of EUR 6 million (half of which is provided by the home countries of the partner institutions) within the scope of the EC funding programme Horizon Europe, this third phase of ESiWACE will run until December 2026.

The main objective of this new phase is to help the European Earth system modelling community achieve a higher level and accuracy in its climate and weather simulations and research. To this end, the project will focus on three pillars that are essential to prepare current models for the exascale era: (i) transferring and establishing knowledge and technology for efficient and scalable simulations; (ii) sharing HPC modelling tools with the community through joint developments; and (iii) serving as a sustainable community hub for training, communication, and dissemination of supercomputing for weather and climate modelling in Europe.

Moreover, the project aims to generate synergies between local groups and will make publicly available a version of the HPCW benchmark that will provide a meaningful reference for evaluating new supercomputing architectures and platforms. It will also provide specific support to European Earth system modelling groups through customised HPC services, with improved and more efficient codes that allow them to deliver results in less time and with fewer resources, thus reducing their carbon footprint. ESiWACE3 will provide training to educate the next generation of researchers by organising several summer schools and hackathons (in collaboration with other projects). Finally, the publication and final dissemination of ESiWACE3 scientific results will present the European community's improved models and tools for weather and climate simulations.

BSC’s involvement

In addition to being responsible for the coordination of ESiWACE3, the BSC participates in different activities of the project. On the one hand, the BSC is in charge of the HPC services that should help prepare the community's climate and weather simulation applications for use on state-of-the-art supercomputers. Moreover, it is also involved in facilitating and automating the running of one of the community's most important climate simulation models, EC-Earth, on the EuroHPC machines. In addition, it also carries out specific application optimisation tasks such as analysing model performance using new metrics or automatic techniques and reducing the accuracy of its variables to speed up applications.

Mario Acosta, an established researcher at BSC, coordinator of ESiWACE3, and co-leader of the Computational Earth Sciences (CES) group, is convinced that the project will enable the climate and weather community to grow on its way to exascale supercomputing. Acosta says: "There are still several challenges to face before we can say that our models are ready to make efficient use of the new EuroHPC machines." He adds: "ESiWACE3 encompasses a number of tasks, from improving our models to educating and integrating young people into our HPC community, which will make efficient exploitation of these new machines such as LUMI or the new MareNostrum 5 a reality".

The Consortium consists of 11 European institutions recognised in HPC or climate-related and 2 private companies: Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS; Spain); Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum GMBH (DKRZ; Germany); European Centre for Medium Weather Forecasts (ECMWF; United Kingdom); Stichting Netherlands EScience Center (NLESC; Netherlands); Helsingin Yliopisto (UH; Finland); Sveriges Meteorologiska Och Hydrologiska Institut (SMHI; Sweden); CSC-Tieteen Tietotekniikan Keskus Oy (CSC; Finland); Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Wissenschaften Ev (MPI-M; Germany); Fondazione Centro Euro-Mediterraneosui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC; Italy); Latest Thinking GMBH (LT; Germany); Eviden (ATOS; France); Forschungszentrum Jülich GMBH (JSC; Germany).


  • ESiWACE3 is funded by the European Union and has received funding from the EuroHPC JU under grant agreement no. 101093054.