eSTICC is a Nordic Centre of Excellence (NCoE) funded by NordForsk. eSTICC stands for “eScience Tools for Investigating Climate Change at High Northern Latitudes” and aims for a more accurate description of the high-latitude feedback processes in the climate system by improving the eScience tools for the climate research community.
eSTICC has pooled together researchers from 13 top institutes in the Nordic countries working in the fields of climate and/or eScience to improve eScience tools for climate research. Specifically, eSTICC will develop tools needed for more efficient use of experimental and model data, and improve the computational efficiency and coding standards of Earth System Models (ESMs) and tools for inverse modeling of emission fluxes.
eSTICC’s major objectives are to:
- integrate the data and computational tools from the existing NCoEs: CRAICC, SVALI and DEFROST, to further strengthen the leading Nordic position in climate data hosting.
- facilitate the information flows between experimentalists and modelers.
- improve the handling and processing of the large measurement and model data sets available from several relevant databases.
- enhance inverse modeling tools that are used to determine emission fluxes.
- integrate Nordic Earth System Modeling by exploiting the multi-model approach.
- develop more efficient process parameterizations for ESMs.
- challenge the competing demands of model complexity versus spatial resolution by experimenting with model resolution versus complexity in the present Nordic ESMs, with a focus on Arctic phenomena.
- improve the efficiency in the utilization of computing resources by porting and optimizing code to new and emerging platforms, as well as by utilizing novel algorithms to increase scalability of modeling software, thereby enabling larger and more accurate models.
Improved knowledge about the Earth system can come only from an integration of observations and models of different complexity. Observations, for instance, can be used to identify weaknesses in models or to derive unknown quantities of interest, such as emissions, via inverse modeling. Models, on the other hand, are needed to properly understand the observations made on Earth or in the atmosphere, and to inform experimentalists about what type of measurements are particularly useful. Unfortunately, the link between observations and models is far from trivial, especially since increasingly large data volumes are involved. eSTICC will address this difficulty by working on the interface between observations and models, as illustrated in Figure 1. eSTICC will bring observation and model data closer together by making both data types more effectively accessible by storing them partly in the same data base, by automatically bundling observation subsets into model benchmark tests, by developing inverse modeling techniques to obtain information on quantities that cannot be observed directly, by developing effective parameterizations for ESMs based on observations, and by improving the computational efficiency of existing model code.
eSTICC consists of five work packages (WPs) and two horizontal activities, as shown in Figure 2. Observations will not be part of eSTICC directly but measurement data will be ingested into databases in WP1. These data will be used to develop process parameterizations (WP3) and to derive, via inverse modeling, emissions estimates (WP2), which will in turn be used to test emission parameterizations. All work will culminate by process implementation in ESMs (WP4), which will then generate data that will be fed back into databases (WP1) for comparison with observations. High-performance computing (WP5) will be important for improving the efficiency of code developed in the other WPs. Training activities (WP6) will receive input from the other WPs, but more experienced researchers will also make more progress with their work, thus the two-way interaction in Figure 2.