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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Development and technical paper
12 Jun 2015
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper for further review has not been submitted.
Importance of bitwise identical reproducibility in earth system modeling and status report
L. Liu1,2, S. Peng1, C. Zhang3, R. Li3, B. Wang1,2,4, C. Sun1, Q. Liu1, L. Dong4, L. Li4, Y. Shi1, Y. He1, W. Zhao1, and G. Yang1,2,3 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth system modeling, Center for Earth System Science (CESS), Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
2Joint Center for Global Change Studies (JCGCS), Beijing, China
3Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
4State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modelling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Abstract. Reproducibility is a fundamental principle of scientific research. Bitwise identical reproducibility, i.e., bitwise computational results can be reproduced, guarantees the reproduction of exactly the same results. Here we show the importance of bitwise identical reproducibility to Earth system modeling but the importance has not yet been widely recognized. Modeled mean climate states, variability and trends at different scales may be significantly changed or even lead to opposing results due to a slight change in the original simulation setting during a reproduction. Out of the large body of Earth system modeling publications, few thoroughly describe the whole original simulation setting. As a result, the reproduction of a particular simulation experiment by fellow scientists heavily depends on the interaction with the original authors, which is often inconvenient or even impossible. We anticipate bitwise identical reproducibility to be promoted as a worldwide standard, to guarantee the independent reproduction of simulation results and to further improve model development and scientific research.

Citation: Liu, L., Peng, S., Zhang, C., Li, R., Wang, B., Sun, C., Liu, Q., Dong, L., Li, L., Shi, Y., He, Y., Zhao, W., and Yang, G.: Importance of bitwise identical reproducibility in earth system modeling and status report, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., 8, 4375-4400, doi:10.5194/gmdd-8-4375-2015, 2015.
L. Liu et al.
L. Liu et al.


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