Community Release of Land Ice Verification and Validation Kit: New Software for Ice Sheet Modeling


Dynamic ice sheet models are a new component for Earth system models such as the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME). As these ice sheet models are developed, it is challenging for developers to easily test the code, both computationally and in comparison with measurements. To address this issue, DOE’s Predicting Ice Sheets and Climate Evolution of Extremes (PISCEES) SciDAC project has released the first automated capability to verify continental ice sheet models with an advanced and robust software capability, the Land Ice Verification and Validation kit, or LIVV kit, which has been released for the broader ice-sheet community. This python, web-based software package is a comprehensive and extensible model testing framework, and it enables computational and climate scientists to quickly and easily verify model changes on multiple desktop and Leadership Class Computing platforms, document the changes quantitatively and graphically, and use the results to build confidence in the new, DOE-sponsored Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM). LIVV’s performance aspect allows users to identify performance bugs as well as computational performance improvements and degradations quantitatively as the model is developed. It includes scalability (i.e., showing how well the model can be parallelized) analysis for large problems. This first release allows model developers outside DOE to utilize a continental-scale ice sheet evaluation capability, and it is the basis for future development of a comprehensive validation capability of stand-alone ice sheet and coupled Earth system models. This software package will enable faster development and, going forward, provide increased confidence in an ice sheet model predictive capability.

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