Increasing computational capabilities is mandatory in climate modelling to achieve higher spatial and temporal resolution, better physical process representation, explicit modelling of more biogeochemical processes, longer runs and larger ensembles. Adequate strategies and software environments integrated into specialised platforms are absolutely mandatory to sustain the development of the next generation of French climate models and the analysis of climate simulations as we are entering the Big Data era and facing the Exascale horizon.
The new comprehensive software platform will be built on ongoing efforts to homogenise and unify generic elements of the French ESMs software environment. These elements include data structure definition and IO, code coupling and interpolation, as well as runtime and pre/post-processing environments. Because it will provide the fabric through which we connect our models to state-of-the-art HPC systems, the development of a comprehensive platform demands expertise in HPC and informatics that cuts across the individual partners and the broader HPC community. Our next generation platform will be based on modern and open practices in software engineering, and will be readily usable by climate scientists. The ability to vary the configuration and the resolution of the model, to perform large ensembles of runs, to provide a precise evaluation and validation of the model will constitute a unique framework to help model development. It will provide a considerable support to the French community for his contribution to demanding and highly visible climate project like CMIP.