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Institute of Atmospheric Physics,CAS

Contact: ZhangJinjin

Phone: +86 010-82995451

Email: earthlab@mail.iap.ac.cn

Earth System Numerical Simulation Facility
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      Construction Project of the Earth System Numerical Simulator (“EarthLab”) is a national-class key scientific and technological infrastructure project during the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” Period. This Project is undertaken by the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences as legal person for construction project and co-constructed by Tsinghua University. EarthLab is located in Miyun Economic Development Zone, Eastern Cluster of Huairou Science City, Beijing. In November 2018, this construction project kicked off in full swing. In June 2021, it was initially completed. Acceptance inspection for this construction project will be carried out in 2022.
      EarthLab is committed to scientific objectives as follows: exploring physical, chemical and biological processes of atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere and biosphere on the earth and their interactions, probing into the effects of these interactions on the overall earth system and regional environment over China; merging simulated and observed data to improve the accuracy of prediction, achieving quantitative description and simulation for complex processes of the earth system under the mesoscale resolution, and scientifically underpinning major issues (such as national disaster prevention and reduction, response to climate change and governance of atmospheric environment).
      Core indicators of EarthLab are given as follows. The Earth System Model will feature horizontal resolution of 10-25km on a global scale. Spatial resolution of regional high-resolution environmental simulation system will reach 3km over the whole China and 1km over China’s key areas, respectively. The peak computing capacity of EarthLab will keep at least 15PF, and total storage capacity will reach at least 80PB. EarthLab will boast the first well-established database and data assimilation system in support for numerical simulation of the Earth System in China. Internationally-leading support management system and world-class visualization system will be dedicated to the Earth System.


  • Global Earth numerical simulation system

          The earth system model CAS-ESM2.0 was finalized in 2020 (Zhang et al. 2020), independently developed by research groups from China. It consists of several component models—namely, the Atmospheric General Circulation Model developed in IAP (IAP-AGCM version 5), the LASG/IAP Climate system Ocean Model (LICOM version 2), the Beijing Normal University/IAP Common Land Model (CoLM), the Los Alamos Sea-Ice Model (CICE version 4), the IAP Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (IAP-DGVM), the IAP Aerosol and Atmospheric Chemistry Model (IAP-AACM), the land biogeochemistry model, and the IAP ocean biogeochemistry model, using the CESM Coupler 7 (CPL7) to couple all the components above. The CAS-ESM2.0 also comprises a solar-terrestrial space environment model, an ice sheet model, and a solid earth model, which are not coupled with the other seven component models during the current phase. In reference to the experimental design for climate change in CMIP6, a series of numerical simulations have been completed with the CAS-ESM2.0, which were cited in the IPCC's sixth assessment report.
          The earth system model version of CAS-ESM2.0 (including all 8 component models) is a medium-resolution ESM. The horizontal resolution is 140 km for the atmospheric model, and 100 km for the ocean model, while the resolutions for the other component models are consistent with the atmosphere or ocean model. The climate system model version of CAS-ESM2.0 is a high-resolution CSM, which consists of three sub-systems: atmosphere, ocean (including sea ice), and land surface. The horizontal resolution is 25 km for the atmosphere and land surface models, and 10 km for the ocean model.

  • Regional high-precision simulation system

          The regional high-precision simulation system is targeted at key environmental issues that impose major impacts on the national economy and people’s livelihoods, such as weather forecasting, atmospheric pollution prediction and warnings, agricultural drought prediction, and climate risk evaluation. The system consists of four sub-systems—namely, a regional cloud-resolving weather forecasting sub-system, a regional high-resolution air pollution modeling sub-system, a drought modeling sub-system for grain crops of major agricultural production areas in China and the world, and a regional high-precision long-term climate change risk modeling sub-system.
          The Regional Cloud-Resolving Weather Forecasting sub-system is to provide accurate forecasting products and improve the forecasting accuracy of heavy rainfall, strong convection, typhoons, and other high-impact weather based on the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF). The spatial resolution reaches 3 km over China and regional refinements in the simulation of these key environmental elements can be realized.
          The Regional High-Resolution Air Pollution Modeling sub-system can be used for simulation and forecast of fine particulate matter, ozone and other atmospheric pollutants. The spatial resolution reaches 3 km over China and regional refinements in the simulation of these key environmental elements can be realized.
          The Regional High-Precision Long-term Climate Change Risk Modeling sub-system is designed for simulation and analysis of the extreme climate event risk, hydrological risk, East Asian forest ecosystem risk, coastal disaster risk, cryosphere disaster risk, and population health risk.
          The Drought Modeling sub-system for Grain Crops in Major Agricultural Regions enables the simulations of the global agricultural remote sensing drought index and the formation of agricultural drought. It enables the simulation of food-crop growth in China and major agricultural areas worldwide under conditions of real-time meteorological observations and dynamic analysis data.

  • Super computing support and management system

          The super computing support and management system is the core component of the equipment, aiming at helping users to speed up the process for developing and implementing scientific modelling program for climate/weather etc., which can help scientists master the software system of complex supercomputers.Super computing support and management system consists six tools: model operator library, asynchronous parallel I/O library, model parameterization schemelibrary, general model coupler, diagnostic analysis service and uncertainty analysis tool, which are described as follows.
          (1) The model operator library is used to decouple the development of the Earth system model with advanced computing technology, which ensures that researchers can quickly build automatic parallel models. It has the characteristics of simplicity, efficiency, and portability.
          (2) The asynchronous parallel I/O library can provide efficient asynchronous I/O algorithm for models, thereby increasing its numerical integration speed.
          (3) The model parameterization scheme library contains some of the most advanced parameterization schemes in the world and the parameterization schemes for physical, chemical and biogeochemical processes independently developed by China. These schemes are standardly packaged, which can greatly accelerate the development and improvement of the earth system models.
          (4) The general model coupler controls the data transfer and coordination between various component models in the Earth system model with good scalability and high modularity.
          (5) The diagnostic analysis toolkit is specially designed for Earth system model diagnosis.
          (6) The uncertainty analysis tool can support uncertainty analysis, optimization and ensemble design on high performance computers and improvement of simulation results for different Earth system models and their components.

  • Database, data assimilation and visualization system

          The database, data assimilation and visualization system provides data support, assimilation tools, model initial and forcing data, database management, and scientific data visualization functions for the whole of EarthLab, and underpins the earth system numerical simulation. It consists of six sub-systems as follows: data assimilation, observation and simulation experiments, satellite key parameter retrieval, data merging, supporting database, and visualization.

  • High-performance computing system for earth sciences

          As one of the core contents of the EarthLab hardware as a whole, the HPC system for earth sciences provides a high-performance and extensible hardware platform specially oriented to perform ESM numerical simulations and regional high-precision environmental simulations, and support the efficient operation and data exchange for various models. It is located in the high-performance computer room of Miyun Park. The system includes 2,200 general computing nodes and 1,160 professional acceleration nodes. It has more than 200,000 CPU cores with a total memory of 834TB. The online storage is greater than 30PB while the offline storage is 50PB. The theoretical computing peak is 15PFlops. This system has a high-speed network connected with the China Science and Technology Network (CSTNET) and the China Education and Research Network (CERNET), which enables open sharing of the EarthLab computing resources to users at home and abroad.

  • Data product

          The data product contains a series of standardized dataset generated during the construction and operation of the EarthLab, such as Earth system model simulation data, regional high-precision simulation data, observation data, and fusion data. All kinds of data product can be obtained through data acquisition service, which can be used for research such as data analysis and comparison and verification of model simulations.