Workshop Motivation

The purpose of this workshop is to get together "in real life" a group of scientists and software developers who have, until now, mostly been interacting online. Our group started on the xarray mailing list and then moved to a hackpad.

The motivation of this workshop, and the group in general, is to build a toolkit for the analysis of ocean and atmosphere general circulation model (GCM) output based on xarray and dask.

Quoting from the summary hackpad,

Problem: Each group builds on their own (in some cases proprietary) infrastructure: NCAR has PyNIO; PCMDI has UV-CDAT; UKMO has Iris. Ideal: single "standard" toolkit for analysis, i.e. create for climate-related sciences what astropy is for astronomy-related sciences.

None of the existing platforms utilize xarray and its amazing netCDF-like named dimensions and coordinates. Given their age, it's safe to assume also that none of the aforementioned packages are built from the core (no pun intended) to support out-of-core computations. xarray provides the opportunity to do so through dask. Moreover, through dask-distributed, this has the potential of extending straightforwardly from single nodes to across nodes, thereby harnessing the full power of large computational clusters that many climate researchers have access to.

It is our determination that xarray and out-of-core are the future of climate- related computation using Python, and conversely that Python is the future of climate-related computation. This puts us in a unique position to introduce a set of tools that becomes the community standard and greatly enhances the speed and reliability of such computations and therefore of the science itself.