The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Default user image.

Marko Scholze

Senior lecturer

Default user image.

An example of an automatic differentiation-based modelling system


  • Thomas Kaminski
  • Ralf Giering
  • Marko Scholze
  • Peter Rayner
  • Wolfgang Knorr

Summary, in English

We present a prototype of a Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System (CCDAS), which is composed of a terrestrial biosphere model (BETHY) coupled to an atmospheric transport model (TM2), corresponding derivative codes and a derivative-based optimisation routine. In calibration mode, we use first and second derivatives to estimate model parameters and their uncertainties from atmospheric observations and their uncertainties. In prognostic mode, we use first derivatives to map model parameters and their uncertainties onto prognostic quantities and their uncertainties. For the initial version of BETHY the corresponding derivative codes have been generated automatically by FastOpt's automatic differentiation (AD) tool Transformation of Algorithms in Fortran (TAF). From this point on, BETHY has been developed further within CCDAS, allowing immediate update of the derivative code by TAF. This yields, at each development step, both sensitivity information and systematic comparison with observational data meaning that CCDAS is supporting model development. The data assimilation activities, in turn, benefit from using the current model version. We describe generation and performance of the various derivative codes in CCDAS, i.e. reverse scalar (adjoint), forward over reverse (Hessian) as well as forward and reverse Jacobian plus detection of the Jacobian's sparsity.

Publishing year







Lecture Notes in Computer Science



Document type

Journal article




  • Physical Geography
  • Other Computer and Information Science




  • ISSN: 0302-9743