Righi, M; Andela, B; Eyring, V; Lauer, A; Predoi, V; Schlund, M; Vegas-Regidor, J; Bock, L; Brotz, B; de Mora, L; Diblen, F; Dreyer, L; Drost, N; Earnshaw, P; Hassler, B; Koldunov, N; Little, B; Tomas, SL; Zimmermann, K (2020). Earth System Model Evaluation Tool (ESMValTool) v2.0-technical overview. GEOSCIENTIFIC MODEL DEVELOPMENT, 13(3), 1179-1199.

This paper describes the second major release of the Earth System Model Evaluation Tool (ESMValTool), a community diagnostic and performance metrics tool for the evaluation of Earth system models (ESMs) participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). Compared to version 1.0, released in 2016, ESMValTool version 2.0 (v2.0) features a brand new design, with an improved interface and a revised preprocessor. It also features a significantly enhanced diagnostic part that is described in three companion papers. The new version of ESMValTool has been specifically developed to target the increased data volume of CMIP Phase 6 (CMIP6) and the related challenges posed by the analysis and the evaluation of output from multiple high-resolution or complex ESMs. The new version takes advantage of state-of-the-art computational libraries and methods to deploy an efficient and user-friendly data processing. Common operations on the input data (such as regridding or computation of multi-model statistics) are centralized in a highly optimized preprocessor, which allows applying a series of preprocessing functions before diagnostics scripts are applied for in-depth scientific analysis of the model output. Performance tests conducted on a set of standard diagnostics show that the new version is faster than its predecessor by about a factor of 3. The performance can be further improved, up to a factor of more than 30, when the newly introduced task-based parallelization options are used, which enable the efficient exploitation of much larger computing infrastructures. ESMValTool v2.0 also includes a revised and simplified installation procedure, the setting of user-configurable options based on modern language formats, and high code quality standards following the best practices for software development.