By Michael Böttinger, Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum (German Climate Computing Center)
The German Climate Computing Center (Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum, DKRZ) is the German national high performance computing center for climate research.
DKRZ provides the German community with the high performance computing power and storage facilities needed for extensive numerical simulations with coupled models of the climate system, as well as associated services such as help with model optimization and data visualization.
Due to the quickly growing size of the simulation data, analysis and visualization of the time-dependent multivariate 3D results is an increasingly difficult task. Visual data analysis is a powerful tool to handle the challenges of these large datasets, with focus particularly on the major patterns and processes simulated by the complex coupled models. For interactive 3D visualization of climate data, DKRZ offers its users access to an advanced visualization server system (based on HP's SVA architecture) and a remote 3D-rendering solution (HP RGS), which allows interactive use of the system from remote locations. The visualization solution mainly used is Avizo software , as it provides unique visualization capabilities.
With its powerful NetCDF-CF1 file interface, Avizo software is able to read and visualize the typical long time series of multivariate 3D data produced by weather and climate models using the most common native file formats. Depending on the local hardware configuration, large files can be cached in memory in order to accelerate the interactive access. Very large time-dependent files can be visualized right away from the hard disks.
A topography and map module, complemented by a geographic projection module with user-definable exaggeration of the vertical axis allows users to interactively explore the data in the correct geographic context.
Avizo software offers a wide range of state-of-the-art visualization methods as well as advanced methods and features such as line integral convolution, illuminated streamlines and particle advection for visualizing vector fields like wind and ocean currents.
With Avizo software, visualizations can easily be ported to VR equipment such as DKRZ's VR-Powerwall or autostereoscopic displays.
Tropical storm visualized with Avizo software: cloud cover isosurface colorized by temperature, LIC of the surface wind field plus surface pressure isolines.
The German Climate Computing Center (Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum , DKRZ) is the German national high performance computing center for climate research.
Amira and Avizo are high-performance 3D software for visualizing, analyzing, and understanding scientific and industrial data coming from all types of sources and modalities.
Images and text are courtesy of DKRZ, Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology