ParaView Used in Atmospheric Climate Modeling

February 8, 2012

Kitware is pleased to announce their participation in developing the animation “NSF/DOE Community Atmospheric Model: Total Precipitable Water” for the Climate Science Computational End Station (CCES). The video shows results from a CAM simulation that was run at Argonne National Laboratory. This research was recently presented as part of the keynote address at the 92nd American Meteorological Society Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The animation of the simulation results was created by Joseph Insley of Argonne, with help from Andy Bauer of Kitware, using Kitware’s open source data analysis and visualization application, ParaView. This research project is being conducted by a collaborative group from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Sandia National Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, and Kitware.

In order to model such a complex system, the simulation code required 25 million core hours across 64,000 cores of Blue Gene /P, Intrepid, producing 0.25 simulated-years-per-day. The video depicts two months of the 27 month-long simulation. Using both the CAM5 physics and the highly-scalable spectral element dynamical core, this simulation of total precipitable water clearly shows developing hurricanes in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

This research is of great importance to the CCES, which aims to predict future climates by using scenarios of anthropogenic emissions and other changes resulting from U.S. energy policy decisions. It will be used to improve the scientific basis, accuracy and fidelity of climate models to address their impact on national policy.

For more information on ParaView and how it can be used to visualize your research data, please visit, or contact


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