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ECMWF is hiring talent to develop machine learning based Earth system simulations

6 February 2024
weather pattern

Destination Earth contributes to Europe’s boost of artificial intelligence   

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is recruiting scientists and technology specialists to enhance the use of machine learning in climate and weather simulations in the context of Destination Earth (DestinE). This effort at ECMWF responds to the fast developments in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI), aiming also to set the ground towards a European ML Earth system model, keeping Europe’s lead in climate change and weather simulations.  

Machine learning and artificial intelligence has made a disruptive entry in weather forecasting and climate simulations that can hardly be ignored. The European leadership in medium-range weather forecasts and Earth system modelling, based on traditional data assimilation techniques and physics-based models, can benefit from the new capabilities provided that a significant effort is made to implement the new technologies efficiently.  

Following DestinE’s strategic objectives for its second phase (2024-2026), ECMWF will lead the developments towards a machine learning based earth-system model, and therefore is hiring talent to explore the application of ML/AI breakthroughs in field of weather and climate.  

The new job roles range from software engineers, ML training specialists, and scientists with expertise in hydrological forecasting, data-driven verification forecasts and narrative-based diagnostics. More opportunities will be published soon. Find out more about the ML/AI team and the vacancies on ECMWF’s website.    

The main goal of the ML developments in DestinE is to provide enhanced tools to inform better adaptation policies at a time when climate change and its impacts are accelerating significantly.  

An example of the data driven forecasts using ECMWF’s AIFS ML model. Credit: ECMWF.

Supporting European excellence in Earth system simulations

ECMWF is already applying new ML/AI techniques with the fast development of the AIFS model , which focuses on the atmosphere. With these new positions, ECMWF will expand its machine learning activities to domains of the earth system that are currently not covered by the AIFS, in the frame of Destination Earth, enhancing for example the interactivity and uncertainty quantification for DestinE’s digital twins. The digital twin engine will also be enhanced to enable the training of ML models and simulations based on ML and AI.  

Ultimately, these efforts will set the base for a comprehensive European ML model for the Earth system by developing and deploying open-source workflows. The emerging ecosystem of ML/AI based SME’s and startups and the overall European industrial sector will benefit from the new tools, contributing to European strategic policies such as the twin digital and the green transitions.   

The AI activities carried out by ECMWF will be achieved with a close collaboration between European Industry, EuroHPC, Centres of Excellence, Academia and public institutions, while ensuring they comply with the regulations, rules and guidelines for ethical and responsible use of ML/AI models established in Europe. 

This new impulse to ML/AI development in Earth system modelling and simulations also aims to reinforce the US-EU AI for the Public Good partnership activities.  

These EU-funded efforts to boost the use of ML/AI within DestinE complement the strategic objectives of ECMWF’s Member States, which last year approved major initiatives aimed at intensifying the development, testing and implementation of machine learning across their weather forecasting chains.  

Destination Earth is a European Union funded initiative launched in 2022, with the aim to build a digital replica of the Earth system by 2030. The initiative is being jointly implemented by three entrusted entities: the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) responsible for the creation of the first two ‘digital twins’ and the ‘Digital Twin Engine’, the European Space Agency (ESA) responsible for building the ‘Core Service Platform’, and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), responsible for the creation of the ‘Data Lake’.   

More information about Destination Earth is on the Destination Earth website and the EU Commission website. 

For more information about ECMWF’s role visit ecmwf.int/DestinE    

For any questions related to the role of ECMWF in Destination Earth, please use the following email links:    

General enquiries    

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Main picture: FrankRamspott iStock