WarmWorld project at full speed

With the first day of spring we also kick off the full module-team of the BMBF-funded WarmWorld project. Within this project, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology and its partners are developing the scalability of the Earth-system model ICON for exascale applications.

That means that the model will be faster, better and easier to run, regardless of the computational infrastructure. The goal is to resolve global oceanic and atmospheric coupled circulation systems on kilometer scales. Thus, WarmWorld joins the efforts of other projects building the next generation of climate models and bringing Earth-system science in line with computational technology advancements nextGEMS, DestinE, EERIE, ACROSS.

So far, global climate models were only able to run simulations with a resolution of 50 to 100 km. With increased resolution, many small-scale processes — especially in clouds, but also in the ocean — can be described with physical laws or parameterized with better approaches than before. This will lead to a significant reduction in the uncertainties of the model results and to more reliable regional climate projections. These are important for authorities, municipalities, and companies, for making informed decisions for mitigating climate change or adapting to it. Achieving this objective involves significant technical challenges. In particular, the model must efficiently exploit the new possibilities of high-performance computing (exascale computing).

The WarmWorld work started with a preliminary project, preWarmWorld, in which the ICON model was technically analyzed and evaluated to assess the needs for the redesign of the model to reach kilometer scale capabilities and be portable on various high-performance computing systems. The current work is envisaged as a two-phase process. Phase 1 will focus on technical development, aiming to overcome the current technical impediments to operationalizing kilometer-scale Earth-system models, thus prototyping algorithmic improvements of key sub-systems to improve performance and simplify workflows. The second phase will be the application phase and it will expand the integration of the information systems with applications in the broadest sense – thereby adding the human dimension to risk assessment.

The project is organized in different modules: Faster, Better, Easier, Smarter. The Faster module of WarmWorld builds directly on the results of preWarmWorld and revolutionises the ICON code base into an open, scalable, modularized and flexible code, in essence making ICON faster. This was the first module to start in WarmWorld, in September 2022.

Now in March we are kicking off the Better and Easier modules. WarmWorld Better will refine and test the model configurations development, and fine-tune the critical ICON model components to provide balanced kilometer scale decadal simulations for the WarmWorld application phase. This module will also prototype and test novel methods for supporting ICON improvements in Phase 2, with conceptualization of development projects and link to applications.

The transformation of the ICON code and configuration will be accompanied by a transformation of the information. The Easier module is tasked with making the information visible, accessible, and interoperable. Ultimately, the module will prepare a data-centric ICON workflow to manage the exascale data streams, will set up harmonized access to simulation systems and the output, as well as prototype exascale analysis workflows that abstract the analysis from the information source.

The forth module in WarmWorld, Smarter, invites project proposals from the applied math and informatics communities, among others. These projects should address data compression, simulation acceleration and in-situ analysis and other novel techniques for making ICON and its output better, faster and easier to use.

Further information:

Call for project proposals within the Smarter module
WarmWorld website


Dr. Theresa Mieslinger, Dr. Elina Plesca
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
Project coordinators WarmWorld
Email: warmworld_office@we dont want spammpimet.mpg.de