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ESMF v5.2.0rp1

ESMF v5.2.0rp1, a patch to ESMF v5.2.0r, is the latest ESMF public release. ESMF v5.2.0r is a major milestone in the development of ESMF. It represents the completion of many of the goals set out in 2002 when the project started: a library defining and implementing a fast, portable, flexible, and comprehensive infrastructure for building and coupling Earth system models. Over the years ESMF has evolved and now can be used in multiple ways: 1) to create interoperable component-based modeling systems; 2) as a source of remapping, time management, metadata handling, and other functions that can be used independently of the component constructs; and 3) as a file-based offline generator of interpolation weights for many different kinds of grids. Users who are mainly interested in offline interpolation weight generation can read more about it in the ESMF_RegridWeightGen section of the Reference Manual.

This release initiates backward compatibility for much of the ESMF application programming interface. Please note that some interfaces have been exempted from the guarantee of backward compatibility for now. Following discussion on the ESMF Joint Specification Team (JST) mailing list and with the Change Review Board, some of the newer and rapidly evolving interfaces (Mesh, Location Stream, Exchange Grid, Attributes, IO) have not been included. Interfaces that are backward compatible indicate this in the "STATUS:" section of their API description in the ESMF Reference Manual. 77% of interfaces are backward compatible at this point.

Besides the standardization work, ESMF v5.2.0rp1 contains major functional developments since the last public release, v4.0.0rp2. Regridding now includes a conservative option in addition to a bilinear and higher order method, and handles poles, grid connections, masking, and regional grids. An application that allows regrid weights to be generated offline from netCDF input files comes with ESMF. Distributed data classes such as Fields support a halo operation in addition to regridding, redistribution, and other communication methods. The communication methods support non-blocking execution. The implementation of State, FieldBundle and ArrayBundle has been completed and is based on a standard, highly efficient container implementation. An Exchange Grid (XGrid) class was added that supports flux-conserving regridding on an interfacial surface layer.

Metadata handling was extended as the Attribute class now provides standard packages, including support for output in the form of the METAFOR Common Information Model (CIM) XML schema. The CIM schema was developed for the 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, the international comparison of climate models on which parts of the next IPCC assessment will be based.

A prototype implementation of Web Services enables users to make their ESMF Components accessible via a SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) interface. By implementing a simple function call in the application driver, the user can make a Component's initialize, run and finalize routines executable through a standard web interface.

An integrated compliance checker was made available with the ESMF library. It can be activated at runtime by setting an environment variable. The compliance checker is currently geared toward the National Unified Operational Prediction Capability (NUOPC) requirements. The NUOPC layer prototype is part of the ESMF source distribution and builds automatically with the ESMF library. The NUOPC layer provides utilities that are useful when writing interoperable models based on the NUOPC interoperability conventions.

The v5.2.0rp1 release is a patch to the v5.2.0r release. A number of improvements were made to the regridding utilities as a result of broader use and feedback by the community. Optimizations were also made for running across 10K+ processors and for working with 1000+ Field and Array objects. Fixes were made to the Attributes functionality to allow output of metadata in the format being used for the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). XML output of Attributes can now be done without the external Xerces library.

(ESMF v5.2.0rp1 release date: January 24, 2012.)

When you download any ESMF release, you will be subscribed to the mailing lists and These are low-volume lists that provide occasional updates on ESMF news and meetings. To unsubscribe from these lists, write

Public vs. Internal Releases

Public releases have undergone exhaustive testing and are expected to be stable. They are fully supported. Internal releases fix bugs or add capabilities not yet in public releases. They may not be fully tested, and come with no guarantee of support. The last internal release was ESMF v5.2.0p1, on May 31, 2011.

If in doubt about which release to download, send email to

Last Update: Jan. 27, 2016, 11:45 a.m. by Silverio Vasquez