Toward self-describing and workflow integrated Earth system models: A coupled atmosphere-ocean modeling system application

Turuncoglu U. U. , Dalfes N. , MURPHY S., DELUCA C.

ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol.39, pp.247-262, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2012.02.013
  • Page Numbers: pp.247-262


The complexity of Earth system models and their applications is increasing as a consequence of scientific advances, user demand, and the ongoing development of computing platforms, storage systems and distributed high-resolution observation networks. Multi-component Earth system models need to be redesigned to make interactions among model components and other applications external to the modeling system easier. To that end, the common component interfaces of Earth system models can be redesigned to increase interoperability between models and other applications such as various web services, data portals and science gateways. The models can be made self-describing so that the many configuration, build options and inputs of a simulation can be recorded. In this paper, we present a coupled modeling system that includes the proposed methodology to create self-describing models with common model component interfaces. The designed coupled atmosphere-ocean modeling system is also integrated into a scientific workflow system to simplify routine modeling tasks and relationships between these tasks and to demonstrate the enhanced interoperability between different technologies and components. Later on, the work environment is tested using a realistic Earth system modeling application. As can be seen through this example, a layered design for collecting provenance and metadata has the added benefit of documenting a run in far greater detail than before. In this way, it facilitates exploration and understanding of simulations and leads to possible reproducibility. In addition to designing self-describing Earth system models, the regular modeling tasks are also simplified and automated by using a scientific workflow which provides meaningful abstractions for the model, computing environment and provenance/metadata collection mechanisms. Our aim here is to solve a specific instance of a complex model integration problem by using a framework and scientific workflow approach together. The reader may also note that the methods presented in this paper might be also generalized to other types of Earth system models, leading to improved ease of use and flexibility. The initial results also show that the coupled atmosphere-ocean model, which is controlled by the designed workflow environment, is able to reproduce the Mediterranean Sea surface temperature when it is compared with the used CCSM3 initial and boundary conditions. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved,