EU’s Destination Earth Phase II is inaugurated

EU’s Destination Earth Phase II is inaugurated

The official launch event of the EU’s Destination Earth (DestinE) second phase takes place today at the EuroHPC LUMI Supercomputer Center in Kajaani, Finland. DestinE, which aims to build a digital replica of our planet, is implemented by ECMWF, ESA, and EUMETSAT, under the leadership of DG CNECT.

ECMWF is participating in the launch event, along with representatives of its over 90 partner institutions in DestinE.

Main elements of DestinE

ECMWF is responsible for the development of digital twins of the Earth system. They are designed to better understand how the Earth system will evolve. In particular, they can be used to assess the implications of climate change and the impacts of extreme events, from global to local scales.

ECMWF has also developed the Digital Twin Engine, a powerful software infrastructure, which is used to efficiently deploy the digital twins on some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, provided by EuroHPC JU, and to facilitate access to their data.

EUMETSAT is in charge of the Data Lake, which provides seamless access to digital twin data and other existing datasets, as well as providing big data processing services.

ESA is responsible for the Core Service Platform, which gives users access to the system and which will provide a growing portfolio of advanced applications and user-provided services.

ECMWF’s contribution to date

ECMWF is responsible for development of the first two high-priority digital twins. One of these is the Climate Change Adaptation Digital Twin (Climate DT), developed by a strong partnership contracted by ECMWF and led by Finland’s CSC – IT Centre for Science, involving leading European Earth system modelling institutions, climate and supercomputing centres, and academia.

The Climate DT aims to produce multi-decadal climate projections operationally. These projections range from global to local scale, and they cover several decades ahead. They will enable decision-making in support of climate change adaptation and the implementation of the European Green Deal, complementing existing sources of climate information.

The Climate DT provides globally consistent data with higher spatial and temporal resolution than existing climate modelling activities. For example, its spatial resolution is 5 to 10 km globally, and its output is provided hourly. The end-end-to-end workflows of the Climate DT, including selected applications, have been installed on LUMI – the first pre-exascale supercomputer in Europe.

Over the last few months, the teams working on the Climate DT performed on LUMI the first ever multi-decadal prototype climate projections at about 5 km across Earth system components. They used ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) with the NEMO ocean model (IFS-NEMO), and the German ICON model, streaming information to selected applications (e.g. wind energy and urban heat).

ICON was run at 5 km across Earth system components and completed the period 2020–2032. The IFS was run at 4.4 km for the atmosphere and land, coupled with NEMO at 1/12 degree for the ocean and sea ice, for the period 2020–2040.

Historical simulations for the past period (starting in 1990) were also initiated at about 10 km resolution for ICON and IFS-NEMO, and completed so far for 20 and 12 years, respectively.

Control simulations (starting in 1950), which allow model drift to be quantified, will also be carried out in the next few months at 10 km resolution.

The other digital twin is the Weather-induced Extremes Digital Twin (Extremes DT), which has been developed jointly by ECMWF and a large partnership contracted by ECMWF and led by Météo-France, involving many national meteorological services throughout Europe.

It enables the prediction of extreme weather events and their impacts two to four days in advance.

The Extremes DT has a global component, based on simulations of the IFS at a resolution of 4.4 km, to produce four-day forecasts. The end-to-end workflow of this global component was also deployed on LUMI and has run regularly a few times per week since December 2023.

The global component is supplemented by a regional component, provided by Météo-France and its partners. It can be configured and activated on demand to zoom in on extreme events over Europe at sub-kilometre resolutions (500 to 750 m).

The first configurations of this regional component will become available later in Phase II of DestinE. The teams have already piloted these capabilities at scale for a number of past extreme events.

Follow the launch event

The event in Finland marks the end of the implementation phase of DestinE and the start of Phase II. In that phase, the different components will be consolidated, transitioned towards operations and further evolved.

Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age of the European Commission, will inaugurate Destination Earth together with other representatives of the European Commission, the three implementing entities and their partner institutions, the Finnish government and other key European and international stakeholders.

ECMWF's Director-General Florence Rabier and Deputy Director-General Florian Pappenberger, Director of Destination Earth at ECMWF Irina Sandu, and other key ECMWF members of staff involved in DestinE will attend the event and will highlight what has been achieved to date.

The event can be followed through a live stream. The full programme and details are available on the DG CNECT website.

Attached files
  • The DestinE system is implemented by ECMWF, which provides digital twins and the Digital Twin Engine; EUMETSAT, which contributes the Data Lake; and ESA, which provides the Core Service Platform. The digital twins use high-performance computing facilities in the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU).
  • The image shows climate projections for temperature at different times in the summer of 2032 at a grid spacing of 100 km from the CMIP models used for the sixth assessment report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (left), and at a grid spacing of 5 km from the Climate DT (right).
  • A detection mechanism for three hazards in the ECMWF ensemble forecast (ENS) has been running daily since October 2023. The detection of extreme events triggers the activation and configuration of a regional domain, and the Global Extremes DT can be used to provide the lateral boundary conditions. The regional predictions can be used by applications in impact sectors, such as wind farms. An example of an end-to-end demonstration of the system is provided here for storm Eunice in February 2022.
  • DestinE timeline
Regions: Europe, United Kingdom, Finland
Keywords: Applied science, Artificial Intelligence, Computing, Science, Climate change, Earth Sciences, Environment - science


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