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Parallel and distributed computing and its application to chemical weather forecast and climate in Chile

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Parallel and distributed computing and its application to chemical weather forecast and climate in Chile

Applied research proposal for FONDEF


Here we propose a technology transfer and capacity building effort that connects front line research and scientific networks with the development and implementation of badly needed services and data within the Chilean State apparatus, specifically, the Chilean Weather Office. Technology aspects refer to increased computer power for both the Chilean Weather Office and Academia by means of the implementation of parallel and distributed computing techniques for weather and climate applications, and the interconnection of available capabilities (clusters), both in Chile and elsewhere in South America, North America and Europe. Capacity building refers to training activities, ranging from short term stays of professional staff to doctoral theses in atmospheric science, applied mathematics, computer science, etc.., all of them linked to two applications. One refers to the production of high-resolution (spatial and temporal) climate scenarios, i.e., data which is crucial for risk assessment, vulnerability and adaptation studies, etc.. The other refers to the implementation of a new service, namely operational numerical chemical weather forecast at the Chilean Weather Office. Such tools and data are required for environmental management and risk assessments human, ecological and agricultural impacts.


Over the last 10 to 15 years, Chile has faced an unprecedented economical growth and development. On the one hand, this has lead to fast technological advances in telecommunications and, at large, information technology. On the other hand, the answers and actions required to make this development environmentally sustainable have become more complex and demanding. In particular, sophisticated environmental systems for weather and climate prediction, including biogeochemical aspects, are needed and requested from policy makers, industry, the public, etc.. These systems are required to address key-issues such as future availability of water resources for human consumption and energy production, air pollution potential and health risks in growing urban centers, etc. The Chilean Weather Service is the primary State Institution expected to provide, use and maintain such systems. However, available human resources are at the moment insufficient to live up to those expectations. Moreover, informatic resources, altough increasingly available are typically utilized in a sub-efficient manner and are difficult to maintain up dated. Also the Chilean scientific community working on climate and weather, in order to be competetive and participative in nowadyas science requires of a strengthening of its human capabilities, and of a far more efficient use of computer and communication resources. All in all, in our opinion there is a clear need of strengthening human capabilities, particularly but not solely at the Chilean Weather Office, and to ensure a more efficient and flexible use of nowadays informatic and communication technologies, particularly within the framework of international scientific collaboration, and globalization.

Themes to deal with {What is it all about? State of the art and the science? Why doing it in Chile?, What has been done in Chile, what hasn’t?}:

  • Parallel and distributed computing, networks and communication (Jo, Gonzalo)

  • Adaptative grids over complex topography /for non-linear processes (Nancy, Luis)

  • Climate and chemical weather forecast (LGK, Jorge, Enrique, Juan, Ricardo, Maisa, Rodrigo)

  • Dynamical vs. statistical downscaling of climate scenarios (Maisa, LGK)

  • Emission inventories and emission scenarios for anthropogenic and natural sources (Mauricio, Roberto)

  • Exchange of tracers between the ocean and the atmosphere (DMS, etc) (Rodrigo)


  • To transfer and establish front line parallel and distributed computing technology for chemical weather forecast and climate in Chile both for scientific and operational use

  • To increase the critical mass of professionals and scientists in the areas of parallel computing, climate, and chemical weather forecast


  • Design of cluster/communication network for optimal use of available resources (clusters, networks+ models)??

  • Parallelization of some un-parallelized models (e.g., POLAIR)

  • Data mining….structure and use large-data bases (e.g., satellites) for on-line data assimilation

  • Implementation of flexible/adaptative grids for more accurate calculation…???


  • To provide accurate regional emissions and climate change scenarios for Chile, with emphasis on the evolution of air quality in large urban centers, and on the impacts of anthropogrnic and natural emissions on the extensive stratocumulus deck off the coas over Central and Northern Chile

  • To establish operational chemical weather forecast for Chile, particularly for urban centers (e.g., La Serena –Coquimbo, Santiago, Temuco, etc.).

  • To establish active research networks with leading centers, particularly in South America, functional to Earth System Modeling.



The idea is to combine available resources and capabilities to reach the objectives, ie.,

CMM/DIM resources and capabilities

  • CLARIS network…through thios we will get global and regional climate scenarios which will provide boundary cpnditions for down-scaling applications

  • Dispersion model, MATCH

  • Regional Climate Model, RCAO

  • CONICYT-INRIA collaborations, POLAIR model (optmized for chemical weather forecast)

  • Cluster …ca. 30 processors, 1 TB storage….etc…part of it with SCALI like technology

  • Participant of PRAGMA

  • Connection and collaboration with CPTEC

  • Etc. etc etc

DCC resources and capabilities

DIMEC resources and capabilities
DMC resources and capabilities

By means of:

  • Sharing/combining/communicating clusters

  • Improving codes (discretization, parallelization) and “modulzarization of models”

  • Designing data structures for on-line processing of humangous databases (i.e, satellite derived information)

  • Down-scaling of climate scenarios

  • Emission and emission scenario building

  • Testing ocean-atmosphere transfer parameterizations

  • Quantifying aerosol-cloud-climate interactions (SOx-Sc)

  • Implementing operational chemical weather forecast


  • New climate scenarios and data

  • New service (chemical weather forecast)

  • Increased human resources, professional and scientific

  • More efficient use of available computer and communication resources


Chilean counterparts

U. de Chile, Fac. Cs. FCFM


  • LGK…modelación atmosférica regional, química atmosférica

  • Axel Osses…Control óptimo y ecs. Diferenciales (mod. Inv y asimilación de datos)

  • Jaime Ortega …Control óptimo y ecs. Diferenciales (mod. Inv y asimilación de datos)

  • Gonzalo Hernández (también U Santa María)…Cálculo distribuído y paralelo…


  • Jo(sé) M. Piquer…paralelización

  • Luis Mateu….paralelización/mallas geométricas

  • Nancy Hitschfeld …mallas geométricas/ diseño orientado a objeto


  • Mauricio Osses …emisiones de fuentes móviles

  • Roberto Corvalán…emisiones de fuentes fijas

  • ¿hay alguien que pueda hacer biogénicas?


  • Jorge Carrasco, climatología –estadística

  • Juan Quintana , climatología –estadística

  • Enrique Garrido, pronóstico meteorológico

  • Ricardo Alcafuz, pronóstico meteorológico

Rodrigo Torres, oceanógrafo químico (PhD) con pertenencia parcial en FONDAP de Oceanografía (COPAS)…
Maisa Rojas, modeladora (PhD) , dinámica atmosférica…la única con experiencia de simulaciones acopladas y climáticas. La intención es que se incorpore al CMM en calidad de post-doc …

Foreign counterparts

Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climáticos (CPTEC), Brazil

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-Ham), Germany

Ecole Nationale de Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC), France


Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), Suecia {Rossby Centre?}

Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University (MISU), Suecia

Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, LOA, Francia

Grupo de Análisis Numérico y Computación, Facultad de Matemática, Astronomía y Física - Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina
Cost estimate and contributions


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