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Adaptation of WRF Model to GRID Infrastructures and user-case for wind hindcast over Europe

logo_proyectowrf4g.png Project type: National project
Program: Spanish R+D Program 2008-2011
Code: CGL2011-28864
Period: January 2012 - December 2014
Status: Finished
Web: WRF4G

Nowadays GRID computing is a powerful computational infrastructure, that is an alternative to the super-computers, which is ready to be used for scientific community in different areas (such as biomedicine, astrophysics, climate, etc.). In Spain, this infrastructure is organized by the 'Red Nacional de E-Ciencia', which integrates 25 institutions/clusters with a total of 12,700 cores and 5 PB of storage. From the user’s point of view, they can be used as a single resource (a super-cluster). However, the use of GRID infrastructures is not yet common practice in climate research, and only a few teams and applications in this area take advantage of this infrastructure. Thus, the first objective of this project is to popularize the use of this technology in the atmospheric sciences area.

In order to achieve this objective, one of the most used applications has been taken (WRF; a limited-area model, successor of the MM5 model), that in Spain has a user community formed by more than 50 research teams (organized in the 'Red Ibérica MM5'). This community develop its research activity on different areas and could benefit from the dvantages of GRID resources (case study simulations, regional hind-cast/forecast, sensitivity studies, etc.). However, GRID infrastructures have some drawbacks for the execution of applications that make an intensive use of CPU and memory for a long period of time. This makes necessary to develop a specific framework (middleware). This middleware encapsulates the application and provides appropriate services for the monitoring and management of the jobs and the data. Thus, the second objective of the project consists on the development of a generic adaptation of WRF for GRID (WRF for GRID, WRF4G), to be distributed as open-source and to be integrated in the official WRF development cycle. The use of this WRF adaptation should be transparent and useful to face any of the previously described studies, and avoid any of the problems of the GRID infrastructure. Moreover it should simplify the access to the GRID infrastructures for the research teams, and also to free them from the technical and computational aspects of the use of the GRID.

Finally, in order to show the ability of GRID infrastructures in solving a scientific problem with interest and relevance on the meteorology area (implying a high computational cost) we will perform a high resolution (10-15km) hindcast of wind on Southwestern Europe with ERA-Interim re-analysis as boundary and initial conditions (a previous work was made on the HIPOCAS project using the REMO model at 50 km of horizontal resolution and NCEP re-analysis as boundary conditions). This task is of strategic interest for our group (Santander Meteorology Group) within the Renewable Energy Programme (in particular off-shore wind power) developed by the regional government of Cantabria in collaboration with Universidad de Cantabria and the cluster of renewable energy companies on the maritime environment. The production of an atmospheric hindcast at high resolution, focused on wind, will provide an appropriate assessment of the possibilities and uncertainties of the WRF model for the evaluation and forecasting of the off-shore wind power resource.