Towards a digital twin of the Earth System

The talk describes ongoing efforts to create digital replicas of the Earth, e.g. in initiatives like the European Commission’s Destination Earth programme, or the Digital Twin Ocean initiative.
Digital Twins of Earth encapsulate both the latest science and technology advances to provide near-real time information on Extremes and climate change in a wider digital environment, where users can interact, modify and ultimately create their own tailored information.

Recent projects have demonstrated that global, coupled storm-resolving (or km-scale) simulations are feasible and can contribute to building such information systems and are no longer a dream thanks to recent advances in Earth system modelling, supercomputing and the adaptation of weather and climate codes for novel computing architectures. Such simulations for example explicitly represent essential climate processes, such as deep convection and mesoscale ocean eddies, that today need to be parametrised even at the highest resolution used in global weather and climate information production. These simulations, combined with novel data-driven deep learning advances, thus offer a window into the future, with a promise to significantly increase the realism of Earth system information. Despite the significant compute and data challenges, there is a real prospect to better support global to local climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, and complement the existing information derived with today’s operational simulations in the range of 10-100 km.