User Tools

Site Tools


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 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 will be 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 will be pursued. This area will take advantage of the unique environment of the BSC where research in Big Data is already a priority that will be extended in the next 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 co-led by Alicia Sánchez and is organised in 3 teams (Models and Workflows, Performance and Data and Diagnostics) as shown below.

Models and workflows team:

Current members: Miguel Castrillo (team leader), Mario Acosta, Pablo Echevarría, Francesca Macchia, Domingo Manubens, Miriam Olid, Carles Tena

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, Oriol Tinto, Xavier Yepes

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), David Arroyo, Laura Cifuentes, Júlia Giner, Alasdair Hunter, Nicolau Manubens, Javier Vegas, Elisa Distante

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 Datanode 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.
  • 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.
  • Big Data and Machine Learning applications
    • In this page, you can find the current material related to Big Data in Earth Sciences.
    • Activities related to the Machine Learning applications on Earth Sciences can be found here ( Machine Learning)

Projects and softwares developed:

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!



  • 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. CALIOPE Mobile. European Air Quality Forecast at hand (Open Geospatial Consortium Joint Session on Citizen GEOSS, City of Mexico, Mexico, 10 November 2015), M.Castrillo pdf
  2. CALIOPE Mobile. European Air Quality Forecast at hand (Workshop of Open Data projects cluster, Brussels, Belgium, 7-8 September 2015), M.Castrillo pdf
  3. BSC Performance tools suite: study cases on improving the efficiency of the EC-EARTH model components (3rd JLESC, Barcelona, Spain, 29 June - 1 July 2015), M. Castrillo pdf
  4. BSC tools to study the computational efficiency of EC-Earth components (EC-Earth meeting, Reading, UK, 5-6 May 2015), M. Castrillo pdf
  5. Applying clustering and folding techniques to study performance issues on the NEMO global ocean model (HPC Knowledge Meeting’15, Barcelona, Spain, 3-4 February 2015), M. Castrillo pdf

List of people involved

Mario Acosta

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

David Arroyo Menéndez

Computer engineer with a Master Degree in Social Research.
Position: Developer
Interests: Free Software, GNU Emacs, Web Development, e-learning, Social Movements
Contact: david.arroyo@bsc.es

Francesco Benincasa

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

Pierre-Antoine Bretonnière

Software Engineer
Interests: Data management, Big Data

Miguel Castrillo

Computational Engineer, Software Analyst

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

Contact:, Twitter, Linkedin

Laura Cifuentes Fontanals

Position: Junior Developer
Interests: Mathematical modelling, Data science, Big data.

Pablo Echevarria

Position: Research software engineer
Interests: Numeric modeling, HPC, Linux.
Contact: Linkedin

Júlia Giner

Position: Junior Developer
Interests: Data management, Big data, Climate data, Climate forecasting.

Alasdair Hunter

Position: Software engineer
Interests: Statistical programming, statistical analysis of climate and extreme events, catastrophe modelling, extratropical cyclones

Domingo Manubens

Software engineer - Linkedin
Interests: Workflows, High Performance Computing

Nicolau Manubens

Software engineer
Position: Technical in formation
Interests: High performance computing, big data, data homogenization, climate data, climate forecasting.

Alicia Sanchez Lorente

Computational Earth Sciences Co-Manager -
Interests: Research Management, BigData and Data Sciences(ML applications in Earth Sciences)
Earth system models, High performance computing, performance analysis and Co-Team management.

Kim Serradell

Computational Earth Sciences manager - Linkedin
Interests: Earth system models, performance analysis and team management.

Carles Tena

Computer Engineer specialized in Computer Architecture and HPC - LinkedIn
Position: Junior Developer
Interests: CALIOPE, WRF, HERMESv2, CMAQ, Computer Architecture and High Performance Computing

Oriol Tintó

PhD Student in High Performance Computing for Ocean Modeling

Interests: Earth Sciences, Computer Sciences, Modeling and Technology

Javier Vegas

Software engineer
Interests: Workflow management, high performance computing

Xavier Yepes

Computer Engineer specialized in Computer Architecture and HPC - LinkedIn
Position: Developer
Interests: Earth Sciences, Astronomy, Computer Architecture and High Performance Computing

working_groups/computational_earth_sciences_test.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/14 15:33 by pbretonn