This year's meeting of the ECMWF Member State Computing Representatives (MSCR-30) took
place from May 16 – 18 at ECMWF in Reading. The meeting was attended by 21 Member
States and Co-operating States, representatives from CTBTO and EUMETSAT, and some 22 people
from ECMWF itself.
A short account on the meeting has also appeared in ECMWF Newsletter 156 (see the
menu on the right).
On this page you will find some highlights which might be relevant or otherwise
interesting for KNMI and other dutch users of ECMWF computing facilities. More details can
be found in the presentations, which are available on the Internet (see the menu). There
you can e.g. find some statistics, an account on the developments of various web services
and examples of the possibilities of the new dissemination editor.
The new data centre
Although the migration to the new data centre in Bologna in 2020 featured at the background
of the whole meeting, there was no separate presentation on this topic.
The procurement of the new HPC, that has to be operational by the fall of 2020 has
started and the development of the ITT is underway.
ECMWF sees the migration as a good opportunity to end the support of superceded
services and legacy software, asks us to clean up user accounts that are no longer needed,
and will ask users to remove data that are no longer needed from the archive.
ECMWF hosts the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the Atmospheric Monitoring
Service (CAMS). An overview was given of the developments in the last year.
The Climate Data Store is being developed “as a one-stop shop to explore climate
data”, see the link in the menu.
Cloud computing at ECMWF
With the ever growing demand of data, ECMWF is exploring how to make use of cloud services
to provide these to various users all over the world. The Copernicus Climate Data Store
is now implemented on a private cloud in the ECMWF data centre.
But more experiments are being carried out, also together with some of the Member
States. For operational production they still have to investigate what the use of clould
services would mean for availability and timeliness of the forecasts.
The ECMWF software packages are constantly evolving, with the focus on performance.
If you have any questions, wishes or issues with the software, please provide your
own examples, because the software can and will be used in many ways that ECMWF have not
Once again, ECMWF stressed that the support for grib_api ends by the end of this
year and that users are urged to migrate. New developments for GRIB and BUFR software are
only available in the ecCodes library.
The performance of the library of great importance to the Centre. So, if you experience
any issues, please report them. Currently, the improvement of threading for GRIB de/encoding
is under investigation.
An important target is to fully support Python3 by the end of 2018. Community channels
like pypi, pip and conda are being used to distribute the software. Python2 should be
abandoned completely once the data centre moves to Bologna.
ECMWF hosted last year a first Python framework workshop for the MetOcean community.
The major version number of Magics has been stepped up to 3 to indicate a mature version
of the library. The biggest change is a new interface both for Python version 2 and
3. Furthermore, the automatic support for NetCDF-CF has been improved and predefined
palettes can now be used.
The major version of Metview has also increased, to 5. It now uses the Qt5 interface
only and no longer the Motif interface. That gives a slightly different look-and-feel.
New features include the interactive editing of plots (similar to what was previously
possible in Metview 3), new color schemes and a new interface to Flexpart.
Metview 5 will be the first version to support a new Python interface.
This new interface aims at combining the features of the Metview macro language with the
Python eco-system, without the need to learn the Metview language. The Python code is very
similar to the macros.
In the Metview GUI python scripts can be created by drag-and-drop of Metview icons.
This summer, there will be a beta release of the interface and at the end of the year
the first production release is planned.
MIR — the new interpolation package
MIR is a complete redesign of the ECMWF interpolation library, to replace emoslib. This
new library will be much better suited for modern requirements and has been designed with
scalability in mind to make optimal use of available hardware for optimal performance.
Presently, MIR is available as an option in MARS. Later this year it will become the
default in MARS, and be the default in Metview. By the end of the year also the Product
Generation should have completely moved to MIR and emoslib will be decommissioned.
Other interfaces to the library (command line tool, Python) will be developed later,
in consultation with users.
Of course, MIR has been very thouroughly tested, also with other packages like CDO
and Iris, to make sure the results are correct. This, however, does not mean that the
results are exactly equal to the emoslib results.
There are now several eLearning modules: on the ecgate batch system, ecCodes, ecFlow,
MARS and Metview. Modules on compiling on ecgate and advanced use of ecCodes for GRIB
decoding are being developed.
You can check it out through the link in the menu.