Research, universities, climate research, supercomputers, DKRZ

The Levante supercomputer is the only supercomputer in Germany used exclusively for climate research. It is provided by Atos and is now opening up new perspectives for computer-assisted climate science in Hamburg. Following the inauguration, the focus was also on the perspectives, challenges and impulses for German and international climate research: At two high-level panels, representatives of science, politics and administration discussed what role climate research can play in the context of current events and what the importance of interdisciplinarity in climate research and what research clusters can provide potential.

Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger: “If we want to slow down and stop climate change, we need to better understand the climate as a whole. Thanks to the new, high-performance Levante computer in DKRZ, it will be possible in the future to make even more comprehensive, with higher resolution, and thus better climate forecasts. They will provide us with information about the effects of climate change that current simulations do not yet provide. Thanks to Levante, Germany’s leading international position in climate research is strengthening. Many of the BMBF-funded climate modeling projects use the computer capabilities of DKRZ and therefore will benefit from Levante. All of these discoveries will be important to achieving our climate goals. BMBF is the Ministry of Opportunities, and with our funding we want to give the German economy the opportunity to initiate the necessary transformation processes and benefit from them.

Katharina Fegebank, Science Senator: “Climate change is ubiquitous, it cannot be put off or ignored. Hot summers and storms show it more and more often – all over the world and at our fingertips. In order to be able to respond to the challenges of climate change and develop solutions, we need to understand the climate system in all its complexity. The Levante supercomputer is a real breakthrough in this understanding: it is the only supercomputer dedicated exclusively to this research area, so it can accelerate and make climate research more precise. Today we show: climate research in Germany is carried out in Hamburg. Here on site, together with the German Climate Computing Center and the CLICCS Cluster of Excellence, we can rely on top-level research. Because the challenges of climate change are complex and require scientific and social responses. That is why we face these challenges together in Hamburg and rely on state-of-the-art technology and interdisciplinary collaboration. “

Prof. Dr. Thomas Ludwig, managing director of DKRZ: “Thanks to Levante, we have the latest generation of computer systems and mass memory. It takes us back to the top of the fastest supercomputers in the world and even surpasses its predecessor in terms of energy efficiency. For example, waste heat is used to heat laboratories in the adjacent university building. Its special architecture enables the development and execution of climate models that can also be run in the same form on future Exascale systems. With one of the largest storage systems in the world, we are also enabling climatologists to preserve their simulation results for a long time and make them available worldwide. ‘

Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann, president of the Max Planck Society: “Levante will take advantage of the enormous opportunities offered by new technologies, such as high-performance computing systems. The long-term goal is to create a digital twin of the Earth to better understand how weather and climate are formed and be able to predict them more accurately – at the global level, but above all in more detail at the local level. Levante is the first major milestone on the way to opening up these new perspectives. The research site will remain an international hotspot for climate research – and not least thanks to the 2021 Nobel Prize awarded to Klaus Hasselmann, founding director of MPI for Meteorology in Hamburg.

Prof. Dr. Otmar Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association: “Effective climate policy today also depends largely on climate models based on the performance of our data centers: only if we understand and map the global climate system in detail can we assess future development and see which measures are effective in limiting global warming. Levante is setting new standards here: from Hamburg, a new supercomputer will significantly accelerate climate research in Germany and allow even more accurate forecasts of the future climate. ‘

Dr. Martin Matzke, Senior Vice President of Big Data & Security, Atos Central Europe: “The new DKRZ Levante supercomputer is based on Atos’ BullSequana XH2000 cluster and offers a significant increase in performance and optimization of application performance compared to the previous” Mistral “system. The BullSequana XH2000 cluster is a fanless system with high energy efficiency. After completing the second and final stage of the expansion, the system will achieve an even higher level of performance thanks to the GPU accelerator nodes provided. “

Prof. Dr. Jochem Marotzke, director of the Institute of Meteorology Max Planck: “The new machine and proven cooperation with DKRZ have just allowed us to get a piece of the” Holy Grail “of climate modeling: We simulated the global climate system (ocean and atmosphere) with a mesh size of only 1 km – only for a few hours, but no one else was able to to do this before. It was only possible because we now have Levante. “

Levant supercomputer

The Levante supercomputer supplied by Atos is the only supercomputer in Germany used exclusively for climate research and from now on opens up new perspectives for computer-assisted climate science. Levante consists of 2,832 tightly networked computers, each with two processors, which together provide the peak computing power of 14 PetaFLOPS. That’s 14 quadrillion math operations per second.

The system is equipped with third generation AMD EPYC processors, each with 64 processor cores. The total system main memory is over 800 terabytes; this is equivalent to the main memory of approximately 100,000 laptops. To cover the different classes of requirements, the individual systems composing a supercomputer have main memory sizes ranging from 256 to 1024 gigabytes. In addition to the CPU partition with classic machines, Levante has a partition with 60 GPU nodes which additionally provides a peak processing power of 2.8 PetaFLOPS. Each of these computers is equipped with two AMD EPYC processors and four NVIDIA A100 graphics processors (GPUs), most of which have 80 gigabytes of graphics memory. Levante uses NVIDIA Mellanox HDR 200G Infiniband technology to transfer data between computer nodes and storage components, so data transfer rates of up to 200 GBit / s can be achieved. Levante is equipped with DDN’s 132 petabyte storage system for storing and analyzing simulation data. Compared to a conventional laptop with 1 terabyte of hard disk space, the supercomputer achieves approximately 130,000 times the capacity.

Funding is granted on the basis of a financing agreement concluded in November 2017 between the Helmholtz Association, the Max Planck Society and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. A total of EUR 45 million has been made available for the HLRE-4 project.

Here you will find photos of the new Levante high-performance computer and the DKRZ building, which you can use for free for event coverage, supercomputer or climate research:

German climate data center

DKRZ gives German climate research access to special high-performance computing and data storage systems that are specially adapted to work processes in climate modeling. The DKRZ team also supports scientists in optimizing models and in assessing, visualizing and publishing extensive climate data.

CLICCS Cluster of Excellence

The Cluster of Excellence on Climate, Climate Change and Society (CLICCS) of the University of Hamburg (UHH) and its research partners is the only cluster of excellence in climate research in the federal and state governments’ strategy of excellence. CLICCS is the central research project at the Center for Earth Systems Research and Sustainable Development (CEN) of the University of Hamburg and is coordinated there.

The overarching research question is: what climate futures are possible and which are likely? The cluster aims to understand climate change, including natural climate change, extreme events and unexpected effects. The project covers a wide range of topics, from fundamental research into the dynamics of the climate system and social dynamics to transdisciplinary studies of human-environment interactions.

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German climate data center

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