The Azimuth Project
Azimuth Code Project (Rev #46)

The Azimuth Code Project is an online open source project that will provide source code for the analysis, simulation and educational software used at the Azimuth project. Our current repositories are hosted by github and available under the LGPL free software licence.

We have concentrated on software that is relevant to the Earth sciences and the study of climate. We have created some online models and have worked on an El Niño project. We have a list of other Azimuth code challenges here.

If you would like to participate, we need you!

Online Models

The Azimuth coding project has produced a number of online models using Javascript, plus the JSXGraph library, which provides high-level support for interactive graphs, plotting and data visualization.

Allan Erskine and Glyn Adgie helped to create an interactive online model of stochastic resonance, which was explained in the blog post Increasing the signal-to-noise ratio with more noise.

Allan Erskine has also created some models of bistability. The first was for a static climate system:

The second was for a dynamical system:

Michael Knap combined the latter model with the work on stochastic resonance to get a stochastic resonance model more explicitly connected to climate physics, which is here:

Taylor Baldwin simplified Michael Knap’s model to make one that will be better suited to a general audience once we add a good simple explanation.

El Niño project

We have written software to study the ENSO cycle and methods for predicting El Niños, and publishing our results on the Azimuth Blog:

Some of the software for this is available here:

Philosophy

Many papers in climate science present results that cannot be reproduced. The authors present a pretty diagram, but don’t explain which software they used to make it, don’t make this software available, and don’t really explain their procedures. This is a problem, because scientific results need to be reproducible. Any software that is used in published results deserves to be versioned and published alongside the results.

All of this is true for large climate models such as General Circulation Models as well—but the problem becomes much more serious, because these models have long outgrown the extent where a single developer was able to understand all the code. This is a kind of phase transition in software development: it necessitates a different toolset and a different approach to software development.

References

Azimuth code repository

Functional reactive programming, Azimuth Library.

nanohub.org, simulations in nano sciences.

aflowlib.org, ab-initio calculations.

Serendipity blog. By Steve Easterbrook, a computer scientist in pursuit of what he calls climate informatics.

category: software