Limits of reproducibility and hydrodynamic noise in atmospheric regional modelling


Reproducibility of research results is a fundamental quality criterion in science; thus, computer architecture effects on simulation results must be determined. Here, we investigate whether an ensemble of runs of a regional climate model with the same code on different computer platforms generates the same sequences of similar and dissimilar weather streams when noise is seeded using different initial states of the atmosphere. Both ensembles were produced using a regional climate model named COSMO-CLM5.0 model with ERA-Interim forcing. Divergent phase timing was dependent on the dynamic state of the atmosphere and was not affected by noise seeded by changing computers or initial model state variations. Bitwise reproducibility of numerical results is possible with such models only if everything is fixed (i.e., computer, compiler, chosen options, boundary values, and initial conditions) and the order of mathematical operations is unchanged between program runs; otherwise, at best, statistically identical simulation results can be expected.
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