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What are Climate SPHINX and Data SPHINX?

The Climate SPHINX (Stochastic Physics HIgh resolutioN eXperiments) and the Climate SPHINX reloaded PRACE projects represent a multi-ensemble and multi-resolution simulation campaign aimed at evaluating the sensitivity of present and future climate to model resolution and stochastic parameteriszation. The EC-Earth Earth-System Model has been used to explore the impact of a stochastic physics scheme in a large ensemble of 30-year climate integrations at five different horizontal resolutions (from 125km up to 16km for the atmosphere). Each integration is repeated with the implementation of the stochastic physics. The project includes more than 110 simulations in both a historical scenario (1979-2008) and a climate change projection (2039-2068), together with coupled transient runs (1850-2100). A total amount of 20.5 million core hours have been used at the SuperMUC IBM Petascale System at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ) in Garching, Germany - thanks to a 1-year grant from PRACE (the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) and 10 million core hours have been userd on the MARCONI machine at CINECA, Italy. About 150 Tb of post-processed data are now stored at CINECA and they are freely accessible to the community thanks to an EUDAT Data Pilot project.


By comparing integrations carried out at different resolutions we will estimate the impact of the increased atmospheric horizontal resolution on the simulation of key climate processes and climate variability. 
By comparing experiments with and without the implementation of stochastic physics we will evaluateestimate the impact of stochastic physics on the simulation of key climate process and associated climate variability when the model resolution is the same. 
By comparing experiments with the implementation of stochastic physics with experiments carried out without stochastic physics, but at higher resolutions, we will assess to what extent the stochastic representation of the sub-grid processes can compare with the explicit representation of them. The results of this project integrate with several other efforts currently underway (e.g. the EU-H2020 PRIMAVERA project).


The official Climate SPHINX reference paper has been published on Geoscientific Model Development and can be found here:

Davini, P., von Hardenberg, J., Corti, S., Christensen, H. M., Juricke, S., Subramanian, A., Watson, P. A. G., Weisheimer, A., and Palmer, T. N.: Climate SPHINX: evaluating the impact of resolution and stochastic physics parameterisations in climate simulations, Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 1383-1402, doi:10.5194/gmd-10-1383-2017, 2017.


Data SPHINX (DATA Storage and Preservation of High resolution climate experiments) is an EUDAT Data Pilot project which will allow long-term storage and sharing among a wide scientific user community of high-resolution climate model output data. It aims at building a repository serving the climate change impact modelling community, providing selected variables at high temporal and spatial resolution, with a focus on climate extremes and the hydrological cycle in areas with complex orography. Potential users include researches studying the impacts of climate on ecosystems, floods, landslides, fires. 

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