“The Digital Twin of Earth” with Peter Bauer (ECMWF, Germany)

Digital twin technologies – already established in engineering – are becoming increasingly interesting for applications in Earth sciences. Digital twins offer effective tools for dealing with the dramatic impacts of climate change and extremes on our society. They allow exploring the vast amounts of data produced by numerical models and Earth observations to identify causes and effects of environmental change on water, food, energy and health management, and for finding pathways for a more sustainable future. The enormous computing and data handling challenges for Earth-system twins can only be overcome by substantial investments in super-computing and machine learning. These are addressed by the European Commission flagship activity Destination Earth (DestinE). DestinE was launched in 2021 with a projected lifetime of 7-10 years and is implemented by the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). The project is entering its 2nd phase in mid 2024 and is already delivering first examples of digital-twin technology to selected users.

Peter Bauer received his PhD in meteorology from the university of Hamburg, Germany, in 1992. He joined the German Space Agency (DLR) in 1989, but was also awarded guest scientist positions at the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the USA, and the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) in France. He joined the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in 2000, where he headed the units for satellite data assimilation and model development before becoming the deputy director of research. He implemented the Scalability Programme preparing the forecasting system for emerging super-computing technologies. He coordinated the European flagship proposal ExtremeEarth leading to his appointment as the ECMWF director for Destination Earth. During his career, Peter Bauer was a member of numerous strategic advisory committees for national meteorological services, WMO and space agencies. He retired from ECMWF in mid 2023.

Webinar was recorded on February 29, 2024