The role of large computations in climate science is broadly misconstrued and one my goals is to give people a better understanding of what that role is and what it isn’t.
The high performance computing world is not perfect, though. This applies not just to climate science. The providers of infrastructure have been excessively focused on computational speed, at the expense of various forms of utility. One problem is that a computation made only a decade ago on the top performing machines is in practice impossible to repeat bit-for-bit on any machines being maintained today. What’s more, since climate models in particular have a very interesting sensitivity to initial conditions, it is very difficult to determine if a recomputation is actually a realization of the same system, or whether a bug has been introduced.
I think it’s important to state that large climate models remain a significant triumph of science, even though their role in science is misunderstood. But that doesn’t mean they are above criticism.
The issues raised in the recomputation manifesto are very relevant to climate science and some of its related fields.