Universidad Compultense de Madrid, 29 May – 2 June, 2023

Our Cycle 3 Hackathon was the biggest so far: 140 participants from Europe and Senegal gathered in Madrid. Partner Projects like MULMOD, DestinEEERIE and WarmWorld took the jump into the rabbit hole, joined our journey and shared the spirit in exploring high-resolution next generation Earth system models.

Although the weather differed from expected, the heat raised while science was discussed, new things were discovered, computers were humming and groups were working on the new model output of our Cycle 3 runs, which included this time a new grid for one of our models (HEALpix for the ICON output). The nextGEMS Cycle 3 runs allow for even more physics since a new aerosol and a biogeochemistry model were integrated. Scientists dove into the ocean, studied blocking events, got more realistic representation for the precipitation and located nice fishing spots across the world. Some challenges remain but it keeps us motivated to dive deeper into the rabbit hole.

Beside all the hacking, two members of our Advisory Board shared their work with the nextGEMS community. Prof. Katja Fennel, Dalhousie University, introduced us to challenges and opportunities for biogeochemical modelling in the ocean. And Prof. Yukari Takayabu, University of Tokyo (AORI), gave an insight into extreme rainfall observed from TRMM and GPM.Prof. Francisco Doblas-Reyes, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, was invited to talk about the Destination Earth Initative, aimed at creating a Digital Twin interface for user-oriented climate information. Further, our Storms & Society theme held a workshop for nation-wide stakeholders from the renewable energy sector to create storylines building up on our renewable energy challenge.

Group photo by T. Vostry @ LT

We bring our community together in the framework of the hackathons to explore a wide range of scales and diversity of processes, and to exchange in experience, workflow and insights.

Even if neither the date nor the location is set for the next hackathon, the spirit of the hackathon will remain and everyone is excited about the second half of the project: the application phase!

by Chiel van Heerwaarden, Wageningen University

A first glimpse of variability over land

In preparation for the upcoming Madrid hackathon, the Storms and Land theme met in Wageningen from 6 to 8 April 2023. With multiple positions that have recently started, our goals were to get to know each other better, and to shape up a document that will be a first overview of the ability of the storm-resolving models to capture the climate over land.

Our first focus will be on variability over land in the broadest sense. With the unprecedented global resolution of storm-resolving models we see for the first time mesoscale phenomena, such as cloud systems, mountain winds, sea breezes, or heterogeneity-driven circulations appearing at such a detail level that we can directly compare their statistics directly to field observations. Our hypothesis is that this will largely influence (and hopefully ultimately improve) resolved variability in thermodynamic variables, wind, precipitation, and derived variables such as river runoff or solar power production.

With the expertise and research focus of the different groups, we have an interesting collection of modes of variability that the Storms and Land theme will study in detail in the coming months. The ETH Zurich group is analysing temperature and drought, Wageningen University is studying solar and thermal radiation variability and river runoff, MPI-M and Wageningen together are investigating whether this generation of models is able to pick up soil-moisture precipitation coupling well. Also, the University of Lissabon is evaluating the simulated surface temperatures, while the University of Bern is analysing precipitation in the Alps and the representation of atmospheric blockings in the storm-resolving simulations.

What makes nextGEMS challenging and also exciting for that reason, is that the step from research ideas to actual output in the form of graphs is for most of us far more complex than ever before. This is due to the very large amount of data produced by the storm-resolving models and the different ways of storing those. Postprocessing model data requires advanced engineering skills, for which we are crucially dependent on the (fortunately excellent) support teams from MPI-M and ECMWF.  Nonetheless, after three days of hacking, we were able to bring our first plots to the screen and are warmed up for the Madrid hackathon, where we will hopefully find the first answers to our research questions.

Participants of the Storms & Land Minihackathon.

Where and when: Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, 29 May – 2 June 2023

nextGEMS offers up to 15 stipends for participation in the Cycle 3 Hackathon to support young scientists (at Master and PhD student level) from outside the project.

Application deadline: 03 April, 2023.
-> quicklink to registration & application

What is a nextGEMS hackathon?

nextGEMS is an European project that follows a new approach to climate modelling with global storm-resolving Earth-system Models. The project members meet regularly at hackathons to collaboratively analyse the latest model runs, exchange ideas and develop new ways forward.

We would like to include universities and research groups, especially from regions with less of a tradition in climate science. External participants applying for a stipend will (mostly) be organized in teams to work on an Application Challenge Problem, this time related to fisheries. nextGEMS scientists, as well as experts from the fisheries field, will supervise and support those teams.

If you haven’t been to a hackathon, have a look at our Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 hackathons to get an impression of the atmosphere during our previous meetings.

Who can apply?

We welcome young scientists with a strong interest in climate science or Earth system informatics!

Eligibility criteria:

What is included?

The hackathon participation is free and includes coffee breaks, lunches and a dinner. Additional travel and accommodation costs (incl. breakfast) up to €1000 are available per stipend.

How to apply?

Before applying for a hackathon stipend, please prepare the following documents:

Information on the hackathon, as well as registration details, can be found on the event website.

During the registration, please indicate that you apply for a hackathon stipend. Following the respective check-box, please upload the documents listed above in one single (concatenated) PDF file.

Application deadline is 3 April, 2023.
We will let you know as soon as possile whether we can arrange for your hackathon participation in Madrid.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the nextGEMS coordination office (nextgems_office@mpimet.mpg.de).

nextGEMS 1st anniversary

Today, the first of September 2022, marks the One-year anniversary of nextGEMS! On this occasion we have held a seminar to look back into this first year. We have collected quite a diverse list of accomplishments: around 80 nextGEMS members to date, 2 hackathons, as well as 2 little-hackathons, two babies and a third one on it’s way within our nextGEMS community, over 600 followers on Twitter, 16 videos and 1 NextCalendArt.
Around 70 participants joined the online session, being welcomed by Bjorn Stevens and Irina Sandu with an insight into the project and a discussion on the suprises, bumps and hurdles of the past year. They were followed by the updates and perspectives from the four project themes: Storms&Radiation, Storms&Land, Storms&Ocean and Storms&Society.

Even when struggling with technicalities and a challenging workflow, it is always fun to tackle these hurdles within the nextGEMS community, to encounter bumps and to learn from going over them. This anniversary seminar has shown how projects such as nextGEMS contribute to the advancement of climate science through the improvement of modelling performances in ICON and IFS (see also our Blogposts).

A few friendly faces joining the 1st anniversary seminar.

We are also expecting changes in the year to come. Not only did the project office get expanded but a sister project is born as well: the WarmWorld project – Better | Faster | Easier is joining the efforts of nextGEMS. In addition, our weekly Office Hours are changing format and are now Storms&Science, with our subthemes organizing theme-related science talks and discussions.

The preparation for our Cycle 3 hackathon is already at full speed. Following the spirit of the Cycle 2 hackathon, we will come together once again in Madrid at the end of May 2023 and round up the model development phase, before the application phase starts.

by Marta Mrozowska, Niels Bohr Institute, UCPH

The tropical mixed layer – real and simulated

Under the cloudy skies of the Swedish summer, the members of the WP6 group gathered on a beautiful remote island on the Gullmarsfjorden – Stora Bornö. The long hours of intensive work and discussion during the day were rewarded by scenic starry nights, both above and below, thanks to the local bioluminescent algae. This environment motivated an inspired and thorough evaluation of the two ocean mixing schemes, a turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and an empirical K-profile (KPP) based scheme. Using sensitivity experiments of the uncoupled ICON and FESOM runs, we have discovered that biases in the model output cannot be attributed to a single mixing scheme. While TKE was slightly better on large scales, KPP was better at reproducing some local processes such as near-inertial wave induced mixing.

Group photo of the participants for the Bornö Summer School 2022.

We also uncovered biases in the ERA5 forcing, and an interesting trend of the mixed layer becoming shallower with increasing model resolution. Aside from the analysis, we shared expert knowledge through lectures given by the professors in the group, and project presentations by the early career scientists. On the final days of the workshop, we also received two guest lectures: a master’s student from AWI, Jan Gärtner, explained how he coupled a sea ice component to the python-based ocean model Veros; and dr. James Avery gave a talk about the future of programming languages tailored for constructing comprehensive and transparent climate model code.

For more insights of the summer slackathon have a look here.

Vienna, 28th June – 2nd July, 2022

Under almost tropical conditions in Vienna, nearly 100 hackathon participants hacked their way through the heat!

On the first day the participants were introduced to the world of the latest storm-resolving simulation output in an intensive data-handling workshop that culminated in a BBQ for early stage researchers along the riverside in Vienna. The next day, our host Aiko Voigt, professor in climate science at the University of Vienna, kicked-off the hackathon with a warm welcome and after updates from the modelling groups on recent Cycle 2 developments in the SR-ESMs IFS and ICON the door was opened for three intensive days of pure hacking.

Beside the hacking-as-usual, participants could broaden their horizon in Unconscious biases in science and learn about the history and future in km-scale modeling in evening talks and discussions held by Lena Vogelmann and Masaki Satoh respectively. In addition, 15 external early stage researcher joined us to tackle the renewable energy challenge problem in collaboration with stakeholders from the renewable energy sector, with a workshop held by our Storms&Society lead in-between.
After almost four days of hacking and impressive results, the Cycle 2 Hackathon was rounded up in a nextGEMS hike and with continuous discussions and planning of the Cycle 3. Looking forward to meet everyone again at the Cycle 3 Hackathon in Madrid in May 2023!

*The Cycle 2 hackathon was co-funded by the EASiWACE2 project (European Union’s Horizon 2020 – grant agreement No 823988).

18 students and 7 professors from the University of Madrid started the month April with a weekend-hackathon. In two ways, they were testing new terrain. On the one hand, the students used ICON simulation output from our most recent nextGEMS simulations with 10.5 simulated months at 5km resolution, leading to 522 TB on disk. On the other hand, they analyzed this huge amount of data on DKRZ’s new supercomputer Levante.
Accepting the challenges, the students worked in small groups on a variety of topics ranging from the Madden-Julian Oscillation in the tropics to extratropical climate and from stratospheric biases high up in the atmosphere, passing by orographic-induced weather phenomena, all the way down to ocean-atmosphere interactions. Their contribution will help us to further shape the upcoming model development by investigating remaining biases and defining features that are well captured by the model.

A big thanks to the UCM professors for making this happen und to everyone participating for diving into the nextGEMS world and adding a piece to the bigger puzzle of understanding global storm-resolving simulations!

With the upgrade and relaunch of our website we also move to a new project design and community identity.

The new logo is colored in blue linking to our blue planet Earth. The rhombs emobdy gems (next Generation Earth Modeling Systems), beginning with four gems representing the four project themes whose roots extend through work packages up to the individual project members. Through a sencond lense, this refinement from four gems to many small ones equally symbolizes the grid refinement towards km- and storm-resolving simulations. In addition, the arrangement of the four main gems into one big gem nicely depicts the mutual interaction between our research themes and the necessity of all components to interact for a realistic representation of our Earth system.

With this renewed design, our community can identify itself with the brand nextGEMS even more.

nextGEMS offers up to 15 stipends for a hackathon participation in Vienna 28.6. – 2.7.2022 to support young scientists from outside the project at the Master and PhD level.

Application (Quicklink)
The application deadline is Monday, Apr 11, 2022.

Who can apply?
Young scientists with a strong interest in climate science or Earth system informatics. Applicants shall be involved in a Master’s program or PhD in either physics, geophysical science, computer science, or engineering (ideally renewable energy) and their application shall be supported by a supervisor. Applicants must be able to properly communicate in English and should preferably have some familiarity with large data analysis using Python or similar.

What is included?
The hackathon participation is for free and includes coffee breaks, lunch and dinner. For additional travel and hotel costs (incl. breakfast) up to 1000€ are available.

How to apply?
Before applying for a hackathon stipend, please prepare the following documents:

Information on the hackathon as well as registration details can be found on the following website:

During the registration, please indicate that you apply for a hackathon stipend. Following that check-box, please upload the documents listed above in form of one single (concatenated) PDF.
Application deadline is Monday April 11, 2022. We will let you know by mid April whether we can arrange for your hackathon participation in Vienna.

— In urgent cases contact Theresa.

Hackathons are communal exploration, analysis and development activities – all various forms of ‘hacking’. They prioritize working together over lecturing one another. At NextGEMS meetings, our fingers will do the talking.”

Our Hackathon goes into the 2nd Cycle! This time it takes place Tue 28th of June until Sat 2nd of July in Vienna, hosted by Prof. Aiko Voigt from the University of Vienna.

In the spirit of what was written in our proposal, participants will sit together in groups of 5-10 people working on a topic. The topics will be related to the four NextGEMS research themes, as well as to one wind energy challenge problem. We will all explore those topics based on the new Cycle 2 simulations run by the IFS and ICON model, identify bugs and improvements, and ultimately prepare for the Cycle 3 runs. If you havn’t been to a hackathon, have a look at our Cycle 1 hackathon video to get an impression of the atmosphere during our first Hackathon in October.


If you are interested in participating in the Hackathon, please register here.

We have a limit of 80 people and will give priority to the core NextGEMS scientists and programmers. Nevertheless, we hope that this will leave enough space for friends and advisors of the project and we explicitly invite everyone related to NextGEMS to register. We will let external people know by mid-April whether we have enough capacity to accommodate for their participation.

— In urgent cases contact Theresa.

On the 3rd of March, the newest high performance computer system named Levante at the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ) started its operation.
Now, longer simulations can be run with a quadruplicated computing power.

Levante represents a step change in computing,[…], it will allow us to open new frontiers in climate science.
-Prof. Bjorn Stevens

Since the supercomputer is a core tool for this project, the operation of Levante enables simulations for physical processes on small-scale and the refinement of Earth system models down to 2.5km reduces parametrizations.

Read more about Levante here: German Climate Computing Centre(DKRZ)

Our contest of the science art project is over now and it was a success! Some beautifully artistic outputs were created and they were put together into the nextCalendArt 2022. This calendar provides a glimpse into the beauty of the first simulation runs within the project by our two models IFS and ICON. Have a look at the result here.

Many thanks to the contributor:
J. Bao, M. Fielding, L. Kluft, N. Koldunov, L. Linardakis, T. Rackow and I. Sandu.

Submit your piece of art showing any aspect of working with high-resolution earth system model simulations now!

When starting to work with the nextGEMS simulation output, you will certainly produce new and exiting figures. We would ask you to think about them also in a different way: even if it doesn’t show what you intended, does it look like it could hang in a museum? Like a piece of modern art? Maybe only a couple of tweaks are necessary.

If you would like to contribute to this project, please send an email to Yuting before November 7. Please add a short title and describe in one or two sentences the scientific context of your simulation. The plot shall not show any axes, labels, legends, but give more a focus on the artistic value.

Amazing time in Berlin – nextGEMS held it’s first project meeting in form of a hackathon 19.–22. October in Berlin.

The first Cycle 1 simulations with the two earth system models (ESMs) ICON and IFS finished just in time for the hackathon participants to explore the high-resolutions runs. In only three days of hacking, about 80 participants from the nextGEMS project and friends showed a steep learning curve in working with high-resolution earth system model output. In groups of about five people, the teams were investigating current and in some cases urgent questions related to the four project themes Storms and Radiation, Storms and Land, Storms and Ocean, and Storms and Society. The results of the hackathon will guide us to the improved Cycle 2 simulations that will be run in the upcoming months.

Group photo: Tristan Vostry

Today was the official start of our nextGEMS Project, funded by CINEA within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 climate projects. Our digital kickoff-meeting with 122 international participants gave us not only a brief overview about the project itself but also emphasized the task to make science available for the broader user community.

Bjorn Stevens and Irina Sandu, our coordinators, opened the meeting with an insight about the pressing question how climate responds to warming and how we are going to solve existing and upcoming problems with the Next Generation Earth Modelling System. For this, two Storm-Resolving Earth System Models (SR-ESMs) will be developed and analyzed from three different themes: Storms and Radiation, Storms and Ocean as well as Storms and Land. Those themes will test emerging and long-standing hypotheses, underpinning our understanding of climate change. Further, the scientific accomplishments will couple the SR-ESM simulations with impact-sector modelling to work with users beyond the climate science community and put it into social context by the theme Storms and Society. Additionally, a newly established video communication concept, which will accompany the lifetime of the project will visualize the project for the broader user community.

The afternoon session started with a talk about our project embedded in the H2020 projects followed by a status and outlook of recent progresses and achievements in the development of the SR-ESMs. After the talks, participants had the chance to meet in smaller groups, get to know each other, and to discuss their ideas for first steps in the project.

All in all, the start of the project was very productive and everyone is highly motivated to tackle the upcoming challenges of the project.

Stay tuned for updates and follow us on our website nextgems-h2020.eu or on twitter @nextgems_eu!


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