Christian Kuehnlein

Research Department, Earth System Modelling Section, Numerical Methods Group

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Dr Christian Kühnlein joined the Research Department of ECMWF in November 2012. He works on various aspects of dynamical core development, physics-dynamics coupling and high-performance computing. The focus of his work is on the development of the nonhydrostatic finite-volume IFS-FVM ​dynamical core.

Professional interests: 
  • Dynamical core development 
  • Physics-dynamics coupling
  • High-performance computing for NWP and climate models
Career background: 

Christian received his PhD from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich, Germany in 2011. His PhD research at the Institute for Atmospheric Physics of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) was on adaptive moving meshes for weather and climate models. During and after his PhD, he was a visiting scientist at the Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorology Laboratory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO, USA. Later, he worked on regional ensemble prediction in the Hans-Ertel Centre for Weather Research of the German Weather Service (DWD) at the Meteorological Institute of LMU Munich. Christian joined ECMWF in November 2012. 




Bauer, P., Quintino, T., Wedi, N., Bonanni, A., Chrust, M., Deconinck, W., Diamantakis, M., Düben, P, English, S, Flemming, J, Gillies, P, Hadade, I., Hawkes, J, Hawkins, M, Iffrig, O., Kühnlein, C., Lange, M., Lean, P., Marsden, O., Müller, A., Saarinen, S., Sarmany, D., Sleigh, M., Smart, S., Smolarkiewicz, P., Thiemert, D., Tumolo, G., Weihrauch, C., Zanna, C, Maciel, P.: The ECMWF Scalability Programme: Progress and Plans, ECMWF Technical Memorandum, No. 857, DOI:10.21957/gdit22ulm, 2020.        


Müller, A., Deconinck, W., Kühnlein, C., Mengaldo, G., Lange, M., Wedi, N., Bauer, P., Smolarkiewicz, P. K., Diamantakis, M., Lock, S.-J., Hamrud, M., Saarinen, S., Mozdzynski, G., Thiemert, D., Glinton, M., Bénard, P., Voitus, F., Colavolpe, C., Marguinaud, P., Zheng, Y., Van Bever, J., Degrauwe, D., Smet, G., Termonia, P., Nielsen, K. P., Sass, B. H., Poulsen, J. W., Berg, P., Osuna, C., Fuhrer, O., Clement, V., Baldauf, M., Gillard, M., Szmelter, J., O'Brien, E., McKinstry, A., Robinson, O., Shukla, P., Lysaght, M., Kulczewski, M., Ciznicki, M., Pia̧tek, W., Ciesielski, S., Błażewicz, M., Kurowski, K., Procyk, M., Spychala, P., Bosak, B., Piotrowski, Z., Wyszogrodzki, A., Raffin, E., Mazauric, C., Guibert, D., Douriez, L., Vigouroux, X., Gray, A., Messmer, P., Macfaden, A. J., and New, N.: The ESCAPE project: Energy-efficient Scalable Algorithms for Weather Prediction at Exascale, Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 4425–4441,, 2019.

Voitus F., P. Bénard, C. Kühnlein, N. P. Wedi, Semi-implicit integration of the unified equations in a mass-based coordinate: model formulation and numerical testing, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 145, 3387-3408,, 2019.

Zarzycki, C. M., Jablonowski, C., Kent, J., Lauritzen, P. H., Nair, R., Reed, K. A., Ullrich, P. A., Hall, D. M., Taylor, M. A., Dazlich, D., Heikes, R., Konor, C., Randall, D., Chen, X., Harris, L., Giorgetta, M., Reinert, D., Kühnlein, C., Walko, R., Lee, V., Qaddouri, A., Tanguay, M., Miura, H., Ohno, T., Yoshida, R., Park, S.-H., Klemp, J. B., and Skamarock, W. C.: DCMIP2016: the splitting supercell test case, Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 879–892,, 2019.

Kühnlein C., P. K. Smolarkiewicz, A nonhydrostatic finite-volume option for the IFS, ECMWF Newsletter 158, 30-36, DOI: 10.21957/sd92ack6p3, 2019.

Kühnlein C.,W. Deconinck, R. Klein, S. Malardel, Z. P. Piotrowski, P. K. Smolarkiewicz, J. Szmelter, N. P. Wedi, FVM 1.0: a nonhydrostatic finite-volume dynamical core for the IFS, Geosci. Model Dev.,12, 651-676,, 2019.

Smolarkiewicz P. K., C. Kühnlein, N. P. Wedi, Semi-implicit integrations of perturbation equations of atmospheric dynamics, J. Comput. Phys., 376, 145,159, 2019.


Waruszewski M., C. Kühnlein, H. Pawlowska, P. K. Smolarkiewicz, MPDATA: Third-order accuracy for variable flows, J. Comput. Phys., 359, 361-379, 2018.


Ullrich P. A., C. Jablonowski,.., C. Kühnlein, et al., DCMIP2016:  a review of non-hydrostatic  dynamical core design and intercomparison of participating models, Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 4477-4509, 2017.

Deconinck W, P. Bauer, M. Diamantakis, M. Hamrud, C. Kühnlein, P. Maciel, G. Mengaldo, T. Quintino, B. Raoult, P. K. Smolarkiewicz, N. P. Wedi, Atlas: A library for numerical weather prediction and climate modelling, Computer Physics Communications 220, 188-204, 2017.

Smolarkiewicz P. K. C. Kühnlein, W. W. Grabowski, A finite-volume module for cloud-resolving simulations of global atmospheric flows, J. Comput. Phys., 341, 208-229, 2017.

Kühnlein C., P. K. Smolarkiewicz, An unstructured-mesh finite-volume MPDATA for compressible atmospheric dynamics, J. Comput. Phys., 334, 16-30, 2017.


Smolarkiewicz P. K., W. Deconinck, M. Hamrud, C. Kühnlein, G. Mozdzynski, J. Szmelter, N. P. Wedi, A finite-volume module for simulating global all-scale atmospheric flows, J. Comput. Phys., 314, 287-304, 2016.

Malardel S., N. P. Wedi, W. Deconinck, M. Diamantakis, C. Kühnlein, G. Mozdzynski, M. Hamrud, P. K. Smolarkiewicz, A new grid for the IFS, ECMWF Newsletter, 146, 23-28, 2016.


Wedi N. P., P. Bauer, W. Deconinck, M. Diamantakis, M. Hamrud, C. Kühnlein, S. Malardel, K. Mogensen, G. Mozdzynski, P. K. Smolarkiewicz, The modelling infrastructure of the Integrated Forecasting System: Recent advances and future challenges, ECMWF Technical Memorandum, 760, 2015.

Smolarkiewicz P. K. W. Deconinck, M. Hamrud, C. Kühnlein, G. Mozdzynski, J. Szmelter, N. P. Wedi, An all-scale, finite-volume module for the IFS, ECMWF Newsletter, 145, 24-29, 2015.


Kühnlein C., C. Keil, G. C. Craig, C. Gebhardt, The impact of downscaled initial condition perturbations on convective-scale ensemble forecasts of precipitation, Q. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 140 (682), 1552-1562, 2014.

Smolarkiewicz P. K., C. Kühnlein, N. P. Wedi, A consistent framework for discrete integrations of soundproof and compressible PDEs of atmospheric dynamics, J. Comput. Phys., 263, 185-205, 2014.

Unterstrasser S., R. Paoli, I. Sölch, C. Kühnlein, T. Gerz, Dimension of aircraft exhaust plumes at cruise conditions: effect of wake vortices, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15 (5), 2713-2733, 2014.


Kühnlein C., A. Dörnbrack, M. Weissmann, High-resolution Doppler lidar observations of transient downslope flows and rotors, Mon. Weather. Rev., 141 (10), 3257-3272, 2013.


Kühnlein C., P. K. Smolarkiewicz, A. Dörnbrack, Modelling atmospheric flows with adaptive moving meshes, J. Comput. Phys., 231 (7), 2741-2763, 2012.