23 October 2013 GPU acceleration experience with RRTMG long wave radiation model
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An Atmospheric radiative transfer model calculates radiative transfer of electromagnetic radiation through a planetary atmosphere. Both shortwave radiance and longwave radiance parameterizations in an atmospheric model calculate radiation fluxes and heating rates in the earth-atmospheric system. One radiative transfer model is the rapid radiative transfer model (RRTM), which calculates of longwave and shortwave atmospheric radiative fluxes and heating rates. Longwave broadband radiative transfer code for general circulation model (GCM) applications, RRTMG, is based on the single-column reference code, RRTM. The RRTMG is a validated, correlated k-distribution band model for the calculation of longwave and shortwave atmospheric radiative fluxes and heating rates. The focus of this paper is on the RRTMG long wave (RRTMG_LW) model. In order to improve computational efficiency, RRTMG_LW incorporates several modifications compared to RRTM. In RRTM_LW there are 16 g points in each of the spectral bands for a total of 256 g points. In RRTMG_LW, the number of g points in each spectral band varies from 2 to 16 depending on the absorption in each band. RRTMG_LW employs a computationally efficient correlated-k method for radiative transfer calculations. It contains 16 spectral bands with various number of quadrature points (g points) in each of the bands. In total, there are 140 g points. The radiative effects of all significant atmospheric gases are included in RRTMG_LW. Active gas absorbers include H2O, O3, CO2, CH4, N2O, O2 and four types of halocarbons: CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-22, and CCL4. RRTMG_LW also treats the absorption and scattering from liquid and ice clouds and aerosols. For cloudysky radiative transfer, a maximum-random cloud overlapping scheme is used. Small scale cloud variability, such as cloud fraction and the vertical overlap of clouds can be represented using a statistical technique in RRTMG_LW. Due to its accuracy, RRTMG_LW has been implemented operationally in many weather forecast and climate models. RRTMG_LW is in operational use in ECMWF weather forecast system, the NCEP global forecast system, the ECHAM5 climate model, Community Earth System Model (CESM) and the weather and forecasting (WRF) model. RRTMG_LW has also been evaluated for use in GFDL climate model. In this paper, we examine the feasibility of using graphics processing units (GPUs) to accelerate the RRTMG_LW as used by the WRF. GPUs can provide a substantial improvement in RRTMG speed by supporting the parallel computation of large numbers of independent radiative calculations. Furthermore, using commodity GPUs for accelerating RRTMG_LW allows getting a much higher computational performance at lower price point than traditional CPUs. Furthermore, power and cooling costs are significantly reduced by using GPUs. A GPU-compatible version of RRTMG was implemented and thorough testing was performed to ensure that the original level of accuracy is retained. Our results show that GPUs can provide significant speedup over conventional CPUs. In particular, Nvidia’s GTX 680 GPU card can provide a speedup of 69x for the compared to its single-threaded Fortran counterpart running on Intel Xeon E5-2603 CPU.
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Erik Price, Jarno Mielikainen, Bormin Huang, HungLung A. Huang, Tsengdar Lee, "GPU acceleration experience with RRTMG long wave radiation model", Proc. SPIE 8895, High-Performance Computing in Remote Sensing III, 88950H (23 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2031450; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2031450

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