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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 7, issue 1 | Copyright

Special issue: Community software to support the delivery of CMIP5

Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 93-103, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Development and technical paper 14 Jan 2014

Development and technical paper | 14 Jan 2014

A fast input/output library for high-resolution climate models

X. M. Huang, W. C. Wang, H. H. Fu, G. W. Yang, B. Wang, and C. Zhang X. M. Huang et al.
  • Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, 100084, and Joint Center for Global Change Studies, Beijing, 100875, China

Abstract. We describe the design and implementation of climate fast input/output (CFIO), a fast input/output (I/O) library for high-resolution climate models. CFIO provides a simple method for modelers to overlap the I/O phase with the computing phase automatically, so as to shorten the running time of numerical simulations. To minimize the code modifications required for porting, CFIO provides similar interfaces and features to parallel Network Common Data Form (PnetCDF), which is one of the most widely used I/O libraries in climate models. We deployed CFIO in three high-resolution climate models, including two ocean models (POP and LICOM) and one sea ice model (CICE). The experimental results show that CFIO improves the performance of climate models significantly versus the original serial I/O approach. When running with CFIO at 0.1° resolution with about 1000 CPU cores, we managed to reduce the running time by factors of 7.9, 4.6 and 2.0 for POP, CICE, and LICOM, respectively. We also compared the performance of CFIO against two existing libraries, PnetCDF and parallel I/O (PIO), in different scenarios. For scenarios with both data output and computations, CFIO decreases the I/O overhead compared to PnetCDF and PIO.

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