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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2017-230
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Development and technical paper
05 Oct 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).
Near-global climate simulation at 1 km resolution: establishing a performance baseline on 4888 GPUs with COSMO 5.0
Oliver Fuhrer1, Tarun Chadha2, Torsten Hoefler3, Grzegorz Kwasniewski3, Xavier Lapillonne1, David Leutwyler4, Daniel Lüthi4, Carlos Osuna1, Christoph Schär4, Thomas C. Schulthess5,6, and Hannes Vogt6 1Federal Institute of Meteorology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss
2ITS Research Informatics, ETH Zurich
3Scalable Parallel Computing Lab, ETH Zurich
4Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich
5Institute for Theoretical Physics, ETH Zurich
6Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, CSCS
Abstract. The best hope for reducing long-standing global climate model biases, is through increasing the resolution to the kilometer scale. Here we present results from an ultra-high resolution non-hydrostatic climate model for a near-global setup running on the full Piz Daint supercomputer on 4888 GPUs. The dynamical core of the model has been completely rewritten using a domain-specific language (DSL) for performance portability across different hardware architectures. Physical parameterizations and diagnostics have been ported using compiler directives. To our knowledge this represents the first complete atmospheric model being run entirely on accelerators at this scale. At a grid spacing of 930 m (1.9 km), we achieve a simulation throughput of 0.043 (0.23) simulated years per day and an energy consumption of 596 MWh per simulated year. Furthermore, we propose the new memory usage efficiency metric that considers how efficiently the memory bandwidth – the dominant bottleneck of climate codes – is being used.

Citation: Fuhrer, O., Chadha, T., Hoefler, T., Kwasniewski, G., Lapillonne, X., Leutwyler, D., Lüthi, D., Osuna, C., Schär, C., Schulthess, T. C., and Vogt, H.: Near-global climate simulation at 1 km resolution: establishing a performance baseline on 4888 GPUs with COSMO 5.0, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2017-230, in review, 2017.
Oliver Fuhrer et al.
Oliver Fuhrer et al.
Oliver Fuhrer et al.

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Short summary
The best hope for reducing long-standing uncertainties in climate projections is through increasing the horizontal resolution of climate models to the kilometer scale. We establish a baseline of what it would take to do such simulations using an atmospheric model that has been adapted to run on a supercomputer accelerated with graphics processing units. To our knowledge this represents the first production-ready atmospheric model being run entirely on accelerators at this scale.
The best hope for reducing long-standing uncertainties in climate projections is through...
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