Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación combines unique high-performance computing facilities and in-house top research departments on Computer, Life, and Earth sciences, and in computational applications in science and engineering. It is the main provider of public supercomputing services in Spain, coordinating the Red Española de Supercomputación and representing Spain in international initiatives such as PRACE ( The Earth Sciences (ES) Department focuses on the atmosphere-ocean-biosphere system and is structured around four groups with more than 100 researchers and support staff. Within the ES Department, the Climate Prediction Group (CPG) aims at developing a climate forecast system based on the Earth System Model EC-Earth and performs regular assessments of the system’s predictive capacity. The CPG has a long experience in seasonal-to-decadal climate prediction, which has been reflected in its active participation in 11 European and 7 national projects with a strong component on climate prediction. Of particular importance for the group was the FP7 project SPECS, led by the BSC, in which specific, innovative global forecast system experiments were coordinated to test hypotheses for the improvement of seasonal to decadal predictions. The group has been expanding its research activities of climate and carbon cycle prediction, and contributed to the development of the CMIP6 version of EC-Earth, and is now strongly contributing to the CMIP6 simulations provided by the EC-Earth consortium. The group coordinates EC-Earth’s contribution to DCPP (Decadal Climate Prediction Project) and OMIP (Ocean Model Intercomparison Project) and is one of two groups supporting EC-Earth’s participation to C4MIP (Coupled Climate-Carbon Cycle Model Intercomparison Project). The capabilities of the CPG group have lead to the BSC being designated Global Producing Center for Annual-to-Decadal Climate Prediction (GP-ADCP) by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) which implies producing decadal forecast quasi-operationally ( In addition, members of the group are currently testing several techniques to produce optimal initial conditions for decadal predictions of climate and the global carbon cycle.

At the BSC there is large expertise in performing climate predictions and more general climate simulations to explore the climatic responses to external forcings, including aerosols from volcanic eruptions. BSC will contribute to the work investigating the effect of volcanic aerosols and biomass burning on the climate, and in particular its contribution to the seasonal to multi-annual prediction skill. To this end, BSC will run and evaluate simulations with the improved aerosol forcing, and contribute to preparation of improved forcing fields.

The CONFESS project will allow the BSC to further its understanding of the potential contributions of aerosols to climate variations and predictive skill, and, through improvements in the associated tools and model capabilities, enhance the prediction system we use for our research and to provide real-time climate forecasts. The work envisaged in CONFESS will also allow the BSC to generate a capability to react to a potential new volcanic eruption to be able to capitalise on its added value for prediction. 

The work on the biomass burning emissions empirical model in WP2 will allow the BSC CPG to extend its expertise on climate prediction to the prediction of the effects of wildfires, and it is expected that this work will benefit future projects in which the CPG will be involved.