UK Develops World’s Most Advanced Climate Computer

Christian Garavaglia
UKmet Met Office supercomputadora
Today’s Met Office supercomputer collects more than 200 billion observations from various sources each day.

In recent weeks, the United Kingdom was subjected to severe flooding and damage caused by the tormenta Ciara and the storm Dennis. The latter caused the death of at least 3 people and was of such magnitude that they had to be issued over 300 weather alerts in England alone, and at least 300 others in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

In this context of recovery after these hectic days, the president of COP26 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change, to be held in November 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland) Alok Sharma revealed this Monday in a statement that £ 1.2 billion will be used to develop a next-generation supercomputer thanks to which “the prediction of extreme weather and the impacts of climate change will be faster and more accurate than ever”.

It is expected to be supercomputer be the most advanced in the world dedicated to climate, and your data “will be used to help predict storms more accurately, select the most suitable places for flood defenses Y predict changes in global climate“, Which will help” ensure that communities are better prepared”In the face of natural disasters as reported by the government.

The new technology will be managed by the UK Weather Service, Met Office. This is the largest investment ever made organization and will cover not only the hardware itself, but also the cost to operate it over a 10-year period.

There will be a first stage of installation and in this the computer is expected to be six times more powerful than the supercomputer currently in use. Five years later there will be a major update to increase its performance three times.

Met Office’s current supercomputer collects more than 200,000 million observations every day of satellites, ground stations and ocean buoys. It is among the 50 most powerful computers in the world and contains enough storage to collect over 100 years of HD movies. It will complete its life cycle by the end of 2022.

Increasing spatial resolution

Improving a forecasting model implies, among other things, improving spatial resolution by increasing the number of nodes on which the equations that govern the behavior of the atmosphere are to be solved. Currently, the global model used by the Met Office has a spatial resolution of 10km, although in the UK region in particular the resolution increases to 1.5km.

Even about London a higher resolution is used, up to 300m, mainly for improve the accuracy of aeronautical forecasts. The ambition now with the new supercomputer is to operate these forecasts with higher resolutions up to 100m.

“This investment will provide a Earlier and more accurate warning of severe weather, the information needed to build a more resilient world in a changing climate and will help support the transition to a low carbon economy across the UK“said Professor Penny Endersby, the CEO of the Met Office.


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