ECMWF is an international organisation supported by 34 member and co-operating states. Its foundation principle was the implementation of a centre of excellence for weather forecasting and supercomputing including the largest meteorological data archive in the world, and the notion of economy of scale provided by strengthening and broadening of capability created by scientists from across Europe and beyond through ECMWF. Since the production of the first operational forecast in 1979, ECMWF has been the world leader in global forecasting. The ECMWF model has been extended to very fine scale data assimilation and regional modelling by Météo-France and the ALADIN consortium of European and North-African NMSs as an option under the existing IFS framework. This 30-year effort has been joined by regional consortia representing groups of countries shown in Figure 1.2b. The resulting limited-area models are HIRLAM, AROME, ALARO and Harmonie, all of which share the same code infrastructure as IFS (Bénard et al. 2010, Seity et al. 2011). Laying the foundation of the next-generation forecasting system with ESCAPE will immediately benefit global and regional forecasting capabilities shared by the vast majority of European countries. This benefit will be directly propagated into services operating downstream of NWP, namely disaster reduction and health.
Internationally, ESCAPE’s pioneering developments will support Europe’s competitiveness compared to significant efforts currently pursued in the US by NOAA and NCAR, in Japan by JMA and Riken, in China by CMA, South Korea by KMA and by Environment Canada aiming at their next-generation extreme-scale Earth-system Modelling. The core developments of ESCAPE will impact climate prediction capabilities since the IFS constitutes the atmospheric component of EC-Earth (Hazeleger et al., 2010) and will therefore be of immediate relevance to IS-ENES that coordinates the European infrastructure and HPC strategy for Earth-system modelling and European contributions to the IPCC.