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Computational Earth Sciences

Description of the group

The Computational Earth Sciences (CES) group is a multidisciplinary team with different IT profiles that interacts closely with all the other groups of the Earth Sciences Department. The group provides help and guidance to the scientists with the technical issues relating to their work and develops a framework for the most efficient use of HPC resources. In order to improve the use of the variety of computing resources available at the BSC and in other HPC institutions, a solid software development, profiling and optimisation area has been created for Earth system model codes towards exascale computing, and to provide feedback on this to modellers around Europe. Last but not least, the development of a framework to disseminate the outputs generated by the BSC-ES among the research and service community has been established. This area takes advantage of the unique environment of the BSC where research in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is already a priority that will be extended in the next few years.

One of the common scopes of the group is the guidance on the use of IT resources, with the aim of Designing and maintaining an IT infrastructure allowing the research teams the accomplishment of their objectives. This involves:

  • Maintain an IT infrastructure that ensures an efficient working environment for the development of the BSC-ES research and services, including the provision of sufficient storage to reduce this specific vulnerability of the department.
  • Provide and guide the department groups to use a collaborative framework and good coding practices (code version control, testing suites, style guides) to improve the work efficiency, the integration of newcomers and the sharing of the tools.
  • Develop and ensure a continuous training to IT members and earth sciences users to use resources in the most efficient way.

The group is led by Kim Serradell and is organised in 3 teams (“Models and Workflows”, “Performance” and “Data and Diagnostics”) as shown below.

In this section, one can find, similarly to the “Starting at ES” page some guidelines when starting working in CES

Group slides - Weekly Reports - CES Meetings slides

Models and workflows team

Current members: Miguel Castrillo (team leader), Francesca Macchia (team leader), Mario Acosta, Miriam Olid, Carles Tena, Julian Rodrigo Berlín, Marcus Falls, Gilbert Montané, Daniel Beltrán, Wilmer Uruchi, Eric Ferrer, Ragi Ambika.

Purpose: Development of HPC user-friendly software framework for Earth system modelling and the management of operational systems


  • Support the development of atmospheric research software and contribute to its maintenance
    • Interact with model developers and HPC support teams to develop and deploy a software stack to run generic Earth system models on a wide range of HPC facilities.
  • Maintain and improve operational systems
    • Collaborate with the other three other groups to satisfy their needs for the development and efficient running, including the design of appropriate workflows, of the BSC-ES operational air quality, weather and climate forecast systems.

Projects and softwares developed:

Performance team

Current members: Mario Acosta (team leader), Miguel Castrillo, Sergi Palomas, Stella Paronuzzi, Xavier Yepes, Christian Guzman, Iria Ayan, Sonali Mayami, Eloi Rodríguez.

Purpose: Efficient use of the computational resources by the research groups


  • Provide HPC Services such as performance analysis to identify bottlenecks and apply optimizations
    • Collaborate with other BSC departments, especially Computer Sciences, to use state-of-the-art programming models and profiling tools to prepare Earth sciences models to run on next generation exascale HPC system. Also improve the efficiency of existing models and postprocessing tools interacting with developers and users during all stages of software development lifecycle.
  • Research on new computational methods to apply on Earth Sciences models
    • Collaborate with external Earth system modelling teams to implement and test new computational methods that allow the use of new platforms such as heterogeneous architectures.

Projects and softwares developed:

Data and Diagnostics Team

Current members: Francesco Benincasa, Pierre-Antoine Bretonnière (team leaders), An-Chi Ho, Saskia Loosveldt Tomas, Lluís Palma García, Núria Pérez-Zanón, Margarida Samsó, Javier Vegas, Amalia Vradi, Daniel Trujillo, Carlos Gomez, Giulia Carella

Purpose: Provision of data services


  • Develop, manage and maintain a common data service framework
    • Develop, manage and maintain a common data service framework to collect, standardize and distribute climate and atmospheric data to both internal departmental and external users of the research and services community. Setting up an ESGF Data-Node is a priority of the team to give international visibility to the centre.
    • Implement locally and contribute to the development of international standards for data storage and exchange, with special interest in data in NetCDF and GRIB formats.
    • Contribute to external data quality checking projects (eg Copernicus C3S_512)
  • Deploy an infrastructure ready to overcome the Big Data challenge in Earth sciences
    • Improve the capability for processing Big Data volumes for the analysis of Earth system simulation using the latest technologies both at hardware and software levels.
    • Improve the outcome to society of user-friendly data visualization products.
    • Study new approaches to address the I/O challenges of the new generation of high-resolution, highly parallelized Earth system models.
    • In this page, you can find the current material related to Big Data in Earth Sciences.
  • Artificial Intelligence for Earth Sciences
    • New developments on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have great potential for the exploitation and modelling of the ever-increasing stream of geospatial data. Therefore, a new research line has been started within CES to develop new Machine Learning models (specially based on Deep Neural Networks) for Earth Sciences. All the information can be found here (AI4ES).

Projects and softwares developed:

Group software projects

Outcomes of the CES meetings

Every month the CES group meets and each group presents the activities carried on (updated in the Trello of the group), the issues encountered and progresses made. The following document contains the presentations of CES team meetings. In the CES group, we are not only computer guys and girls, we are also cooks! Take a look!


Useful CES references to add in ES publications.


  • Supercomputing 2015, Austin, Texas, 15 - 20 November 2015, Optimization of an Ocean Model Using Performance Tools Poster - Two-page extended abstract
  • EGU General Assembly 2017 (EGU2017), Vienna, Austria, 24-28 April 2017, Simulation-based performance analysis of EC-Earth 3.2.0 using Dimemas pdf
  • OpenIFS workshop 2017, Trieste, Italy, 5-9 June 2017, Performance study of OpenIFS: towards a more efficiently scalable model pdf

Technical Memoranda


  1. Computational Earth Sciences generic presentation (February 2020) pptx

Current members

Mario Acosta

Postdoctoral Researcher
Interests: HPC performance, Computer Architecture, Scientific Models, Computational Dynamic Fluids, Mathematical algorithms

Mario Acosta is a postdoctoral researcher and the leader of the Performance Team in the Computational group at the BSC (Barcelona Supercomputing Center) Earth Science Department. He obtained his PhD from University of Granada (Spain) in 2015, on High Performance Computing applied to Earth System Modeling. This expertise includes wide knowledge in numerical models (governing equations, numerical algorithms and computational implementation) and how to adapt them efficiently to actual and new High Performance Computing (HPC) resources. He is working in the HPC WP of ESiWACE2, ESCAPE2 and INMERSE and the leader of the HPC WP of IS-ENES3 as BSC PI. Moreover, he is also the PI of a research project with KNMI related to HPC of the model Harmonie-Arome. He is author of 8 peer-reviewed articles in international journals. He presented his work at 14 congresses and workshops, and reviewed some manuscripts for peer-review journals. He is or has been the supervisor of two PhD students and three master students and several degree students, who are developing theses in the HPC topic. Additionally, he is associate professor at Universitat Politecnic of Catalunya (UPC).

Francesco Benincasa

Software Engineer
Interests: Software development, Data management, Big Data

Francesco Benincasa holds a Master Degree in “Software Engineering” from the “Alma Mater Studiorum - Bologna University” (Italy) in 2004. After working in the private sector on web and databases development and automatic shop applications, he started his experience in supercomputing and data manipulation (SCS, CINECA spin-off - Bologna - Italy) oriented to biomedical simulations, participating to several FP6 and FP7 European projects. Since 2010 he is at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) working on air quality data management, processing and visualization. He is in charge of data processing and management and web development and maintenance of the WMO SDS-WAS NA-ME-E Regional Center (SDS) and the Barcelona Dust Forecast Center (BDFC), both projects operated by a consortium of BSC and AEMET (Spanish Meteorological Agency) under the umbrella of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) with the goals to improve the understanding of sand and dust storms phenomena through air quality models comparison and evaluation (SDS) and to provide an operational daily dust forecast over the mediterranean area (BDFC). He also co-coordinates the Data and Diagnostics Team inside CES group.

Pierre-Antoine Bretonnière

Software Engineer
Interests: Data management, Big Data

Carlos Alberto Gomez Gonzalez

Postdoctoral Researcher, STARS/MSCA-COFUND fellow
Interests: Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Computer vision and image processing, Data Science, Statistics, Open Science, Python scientific development
Contact: Linkedin GitHub

Miguel Castrillo

Computational Engineer, Software Analyst

Interests: HPC performance, Scientific Models, Data management and visualization

Contact:, Twitter, Linkedin

Short Bio: Miguel Castrillo (Male), Computer Scientist in the Computational Earth Sciences group: Miguel has an MSc in Computer Science from the University of León and a BA in Geography and History from the National Distance Education University of Spain (UNED). Having experience as an analyst and software developer for different private sector companies, he joined the Computational Earth Sciences group in the Earth Sciences department of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) in 2012. Since then, he has been participating in different projects, due to his experience in various technical fields. Nevertheless, he specialized in HPC performance and workflows for Earth Science models, being involved in the IS-ENES2, IS-ENES3, ESiWACE and ESiWACE2 H2020 projects, as well as the IMMERSE H2020 project and Copernicus CMEMS 87 HPC ORCA36 as PI. Miguel has also contributed to the preparation and research support of several PRACE projects (HiResNTCP, Glob15km, LSIHP, HiResSIR, etc). During this time, he has been a member of the NEMO System Team, the NEMO HPC working group, the EC-Earth technical working group, and the recently created EC-Earth4 working group. He is currently head of the Models and Workflows Team in the Earth Sciences department at the same time as he is doing a Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence in the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

Julian Rodrigo Berlin

Research Engineer - Linkedin
Interests: Computer Science, Software Engineering ,High Performance Computing , Geosciences

Short bio: Julian is a Research software engineer in the Computational Earth Sciences group: He holds a MSc in Computer Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires. Julian has 17 years of working experience as a software engineer and related disciplines, his expertise varies from Software architecture and design to OOP development and programming under several technologies and development environments, he has worked for companies and international organizations in Argentina, United States and the Netherlands before joining BSC in Barcelona, such as the Inter-American development bank (IADB) and the Technical university of Delft (TU-Delft) where he participated in research projects funded by the European commission through Marie Curie and Copernicus initiatives (CHANGES project). his interests vary from Software engineering topics such as Software Architecture and UI/UX to HPC platforms and Earth Sciences. He is currently assigned to the Models and Workflows team, involved in the maintenance and development of Auto-EC-Earth workflow manager and other internal tools of the department apart of providing support and help on related topics.

Gilbert Montané Pinto

Research Engineer
Interests: Meteorology, Numerical Weather Prediction, Earth system models, Software development
Contact: Linkedin

Gilbert holds a BSc in Computer Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), a MSc in Project Management from the Ramón Llull University (La Salle, URL) and a Master's degree in Meteorology from the University of Barcelona (UB). After working some years as a Software Engineer in a multinational company, in 2018 he joined the Models & Workflows team (Computational Earth Sciences group, Earth Sciences department) as a Research Engineer, working on the development of the workflow to run the NMMB-MONARCH model using the Autosubmit workflow manager (Auto-MONARCH) and giving support to the Atmospheric Composition group.

Miriam Olid

Research Support Engineer
Interests: Atmospheric Pollution, Photochemical models, Emissions modelling

Short bio: Bachelor in Environmental Science by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and Master in Meteorology by the Universitat of Barcelona (UB). She started to work as a research technician in the Deparment of Metorology of the UB. One of her main tasks was to participate in the development and maintenance of an air quality modelling system based on a meteorological model, an emission model and a photochemical model. This system, called ARAMIS, is currently working in operational. Besides, she participated in the development and implementation of the emission model included in HIREM from the methodology described by EMEP. From 2007 to 2017, she worked as a technician in the Department of Medi Ambient during the Ozone Campaigns (May-September). From 2017 she works at Barcelona Super Computing Centre as a research engineer in the Computational Earth Science group from Earth Sciences Department. She is responsible for supervising the operational runs of the MONARCH model and CALIOPE Air Quality System at BSC. Other of her tasks are interacting with computational earth science scientists to improve the performance and the reliability of the system. She has co-authored more than 10 publications.

Kim Serradell

Computational Earth Sciences group leader - Linkedin

Interests: Earth system models, performance analysis and team management.

Short bio: Msc. Kim Serradell Maronda is currently managing the Computational Earth Sciences group in the Earth Sciences department at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS). In the last years, he has been in charge for the system administration of all the computational resources of the department and he was also responsible for supervising the operational runs of the NMMB/BSC-CTM model and CALIOPE Air Quality System at BSC. In that sense, he was also involved in the analysis of the models to improve their performance and developed strong skills of compilation and scripting. Furthermore, he's focused in deploying different earth system models (dust transport, climate or weather forecast) required by the department in a wide range of HPC architectures. Work Package leader within ESiWACE and ESiWACE2 (H2020 Weather and Climate Center of Excellence), IS-ENES3 (H2020) and ESCAPE-2 (FET H2020) and he is also involved in EC-FP7 and H2020 projects: IS-ENES2, Montblanc, IMMERSE and QA4Seas.

Carles Tena

Computer Engineer specialized in Computer Architecture and HPC - LinkedIn - ORCID
Position: Developer
Interests: CALIOPE, WRF, HERMESv2, HERMESv3_GR, HERMESv3_BU, CMAQ, Computer Architecture and High Performance Computing
Short bio: Bachelor on computer science by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and finalizing the master on computational mathematics by Rovira i Virgili University (URV). His main experience is in the development of models and workflows for the daily (emissions, meteorological and air quality) forecast mainly developed in the objected oriented programming language Python. He coordinates the technical development of the emission model HERMESv3. He has technically coordinated the air quality forecast for the Mexico City, he has maintained the CALIOPE system and supervised the daily forecast related with air quality for the Spanish ministry. He is part of the Computational Earth Science group of the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC) that has into him tasks to provide help and orientation to the scientists with technical problems related with their job and to develop an optimized framework to use more efficiently the high performance computation resources. His work has produced tree papers on scientist’s publications and the supervision of one master student final thesis.

Xavier Yepes

Computer engineer specialized in computer architecture and HPC - LinkedIn

Position: Research engineer

Interests: Earth Sciences Modelling, computer architecture and High Performance Computing

Short bio: Xavier Yepes-Arbós is a research engineer from the Computational Earth Sciences Group of the Earth Sciences Department at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). He joined BSC in 2015 to work on applying High Performance Computing (HPC) to Earth system models (ESMs). His main research lines include topics on scalability and performance analysis of ESMs, characterization of ESM workflows to improve their throughput, and optimization of the I/O process of ESMs by adopting scalable parallel I/O solutions. He holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering with specialization in computer architecture and a master’s degree in Innovation and Research in Informatics (MIRI) with specialization in HPC from the Facultat d’Informàtica de Barcelona (FIB) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). He was awarded the BSC Severo Ochoa Scholarship for his master’s degree.

Iria Ayan

Position: Junior Research Engineer


Short bio: Iria Ayan is a physicist from University of Barcelona (UB) with a Master in Astrophysics, Particle Physics and Cosmology from the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona (ICCUB). Her main experience has been related to high energy astrophysics and, in particular, she has focused on the study of gamma-ray binary systems. She has published in Proceeding of Science her research on searching for new gamma-ray binaries in order to be detected by new future telescopes such as the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). Since 2019, she works at BSC in the Computation Earth Sciences group developing new features in the land-use model (H-TESSEL) embedded in the IFS weather model.

Albert Vila

Position: IT Technician

Short bio: Albert Vila Miró is the IT Technician of Earth Sciences Department at Barcelona Supercomputing Center. He study a formative cycle of Microcomputer Systems and Networks in La Salle Girona. He was in practice in La Salle Cassà de la Selva, making maintenance of laptops, PC’s, creation of working areas for users, creation and management users with Windows Server, clone and format disks, computer assembly, installation of operating systems, software and drivers… When finishes the practice, he works in “Consell Comarcal del Gironès” with creation of multimedia products, assembly, installation, management and maintenance of equipment and peripherals of the Consell Comarcal del Gironès. Software installation and drivers. Help all users of Consell Comarcal del Gironès with any problem related with computer equipment, programs, services, printers… Now, he works in BSC to support all users in Earth Sciences Department with creation of manuals, clone and format disks, installation of operating systems, management and maintenance of equipment and peripherals, software installation and drivers, preparation of new equipment, help all users with any problem related with computer equipment, programs, peripherals…

Christian Guzman Ruiz

Position: Research Student
Interests: HPC performance, Scientific Models, Computer Architecture
Short bio: Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering plus a bachelor's degree in Telecommunication Electronic Engineering, and a Master in Modelling for Science and Engineering by the “Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona” (UAB). Main experience in techniques for High-Performance Computing (HPC) and actually working on Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) on the development of Chemistry Across Multiple Phases (CAMP) module alongside the Multiscale Online Nonhydrostatic Atmosphere Chemistry Model (MONARCH), contributing to the most-computational and logic part from a performance point of view and integrating multitudinal ways of GPU computation in search of speeding-up the system.

Lluís Palma García

Position: Junior research engineer
Interests: Climate modelling and forecasting, Earth observation, Renewable energies and Computational sciences.
Contact: - LinkedIn

Francesca Macchia

Position: Research Engineer
Interests: Workflows, Earth system models, High Performance Computing
Short Bio: MSc degree cum laude in Computer Engineering at the University of Salento (Italy), Francesca starts her research activity in the field of high-performance computing working in the Department of Engineering for Innovation of the same university. From 2013 to 2017 she worked at the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Changes (Italy), focusing on optimization and parallelization of hydrodynamic models and the design and development of a system to handle ensemble simulations and perform data assimilation in oceanic models. Since 2017, she is a Research Engineer in the Computational Earth Science (CES) group at the Earth Sciences department in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), developing the workflow of the Multiscale Online Non-hydrostatic AtmospheRe CHemistry model (MONARCH) in collaboration with Atmospheric Composition group.

Margarida Samsó

Position: Junior Data Manager
Interests: Data management, Big Data
Contact: - Linkedin
Short Bio: Margarida is a Research software engineer in the Data and Diagnostics team from the Computational Earth Sciences group. She has a Bachelor's degree in Telecomuncations Engineering (Universitat Ramon Llull), a Master in Project Management (Universitat Ramon Llull) and now is studying a Master in Bioinformatics and Bio-statistics (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). She worked as a government consultant at La Generalitat and l'Ajuntament de Barcelona, as a project management assistant at Caixa Capital Risk and as an IT Technician at ESADE.

Daniel Beltrán Mora

Position: Junior research engineer
Interests: High Performance Computing, computer architecture , Workflows

Saskia Loosveldt Tomas

Position: Junior research engineer
Short Bio: Saskia has an undergraduate degree in Physics from the Universitat de Barcelona and a master degree in Numerical Methods for Engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. During her undergrad, she got introduced to the field of High Performance Computing while being an intern at HPCNow!, a consultancy company for supercomputing services. After finishing her master degree, she started to work at the Data and Diagnostics team. Her work focuses on the post-process of climate model output variables.

Stella Valentina Paronuzzi Ticco

Position: Research Engineer
Interests: Earth Sciences, Computer Sciences, HPC
Contact: - Linkedin

Short Bio: Stella has a master degree in Physics from the Università degli studi di Milano and an MSc in High Performance Computing got at the International Center for Theoretical Physics . She worked at the INGV (Pisa) as HCP expert, optimizing a code dealing with volcanic hashes. Later moved to the field of oceanography, working in the parallel implementation of a P-adaptive discontinuous finite element methods applied to geophysical flows. Since 2018 she is part of the Computational Earth Science department in BSC, with main focus on the optimization of the NEMO code(Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean).

An-Chi Ho

Position: Research Engineer
Short Bio: An-Chi is a Research Engineer in the Computational Earth Sciences Group. She has a Master's degree in Atmospheric Sciences (National Taiwan University), a Master's degree in Climate and Society (Columbia University), and a BSc in Atmospheric Sciences (National Taiwan University). In BSC, she is in charge of the development and maintenance of the in-house R tools.

Sergi Palomas Martinez

Position: Research Engineer
Short Bio: Sergi is a Research Engineer in the Performance Team. He's got a bachelor in Computer Science from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and he is finishing the MSc in HPC at the Universitat Politècnica de Barcelona. Currently, he is in charge of the performance analysis of coupled experiments. Assessing Climate prediction and Atmospheric composition members to run their coupled experiments more efficiently by balancing multiple components (number of cores, mapping, scalability, etc.).

Eloi Rodríguez Gaxas

Position: Junior Research Engineer
Interests: HPC, Computer Sciences, Software Development
Contact: - Linkedin

Eric Ferrer

Position: Junior Research Engineer
Interests: Computer Sciences, Artificial Inteligence, Big Data

Short bio: Eric Ferrer is a Computer Science's graduate for the university Jaume I of Castellón and has a master in robotics by the Ecole Centrale Nantes and Jaume I of Castellón. Joined the CES department in January 2021 to work in the workflows team.

Sonali Mayani

Position: Junior Research Engineer
Interests: Computational Physics, High-Performance Computing, Numerical Methods

Short bio: Sonali Mayani is a physicist from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). She has worked on developing a parallel Poisson solver targeted towards exascale computing as part of a Particle-in-Cell software, used mainly in Plasma Physics and Accelerator Physics. She joined the Computational Earth Sciences department in November 2021 to work on the land-use model (H-TESSEL), which is embedded in the IFS weather model.

Victòria Agudetse Roures

Position: Junior research engineer
Interests: Climate modeling and forecasting, statistical analysis, computational science.

Short bio: Victòria Agudetse holds a Bachelor's degree in Physics and a Master's degree in Meteorology, both earned at Universitat de Barcelona (UB). She joined the Computational Earth Sciences department in January 2022 to work on operational climate services.

Alba Vilanova Cortezón

Position: Research Engineer
Interests: Software Development, Environmental Chemistry, Remote Sensing, Geospatial Data Management and Renewable Energies

Short bio: Alba Vilanova Cortezón holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, earned at University of Lleida and Inha University, and obtained the Master's degree in Geospatial Technologies from NOVA University of Lisbon, WWU Münster and Jaume I University. Before joining the Computational Earth Sciences department in March 2022, she worked at Korea Institute of Energy Research and Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. Her work at BSC is focused on developing PROVIDENTIA, a Python-based software that performs benchmark analysis and operational evaluations.

Alejandro García López

Position: Junior Research Engineer
Interests: Earth Sciences, Computational Sciences

Short bio: Alejandro García López holds a Bachelor's degree in Physics, earned at University of Murcia, and obtained the Master's degree in Earth Sciences at Saint Francis Xavier University. Before joining the CES department, he worked at University of Murcia within the Regional Atmospheric Modelling (MAR) Group. Joined the CES department in May 2022 to work in the model and workflows team.

Eva Rifà Rovira

Position: Junior Research Engineer
Interests: Physical modelling, Computational Physics, Statistical analysis

Short bio: Eva Rifà Rovira has a Bachelor's degree in Physics from the Universitat de Barcelona and a Master's degree in Engineering Physics from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. She did her final Master's Thesis with the UPC-BIOCOMSC research group on the Study of the evolution of new variants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former members

working_groups/computational_earth_sciences.1653030391.txt.gz · Last modified: 2022/05/20 09:06 by erifarov