NERC and Met Office collaborate on climate predictions
4 August 2008
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is a partner in a new IBM supercomputer announced today by the Met Office.
One part of the four-machine system will be jointly funded by the Met Office and NERC. It will be used by researchers from both organisations, strengthening the growing collaboration that exists between NERC and Met Office scientists. It is anticipated that the new collaboration will lead to significant scientific benefits for both partners.
Initially the collaborative research being carried out on the supercomputer will focus on climate predictions, although other work is expected to include research into ocean forecasting. The climate research will feed into decisions on future climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. NERC is planning to invest up to £7·5m over five years.
In the first phase, the Met Office/NERC component of the system will contain almost 900 processor cores, delivering a peak performance of 17 teraflops (17 trillion floating point operations per second), and provide hundreds of terabytes of storage. This will be enhanced by a phase 2 upgrade, scheduled for 2011.
NERC's Chief Executive Alan Thorpe said, "NERC's investment in part of the new supercomputer will enhance the growing collaborative research between NERC and the Met Office. It complements our existing investments in other supercomputing services such as HECToR."
John Hirst, Met Office Chief Executive said, "In a world where the effect of extreme weather events is becoming more severe and the potential impact of global warming is becoming ever more apparent, the Met Office plays an increasingly vital role in researching and forecasting these events. The new supercomputer is an important step in delivering our strategic targets."
NERC Press Office
Natural Environment Research Council
Polaris House, North Star Avenue
Swindon, SN2 1EU
Tel: 01793 411561
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Met Office Press Office
Tel: 01392 886655
1. The Met Office is a trading fund within the MoD and is the UK's National Weather Service, providing world-renowned scientific excellence in weather, climate and environmental forecasts and severe weather warnings for the protection of life and property.
The Met Office is a global provider of environment services related to the weather, ocean and climate for a range of users. These include the general public, the Government, research institutes, broadcasters and online media, civil aviation and many other industry sectors in the UK and around the world. The Met Office has made significant improvements to weather services in recent years and the Met Office Hadley Centre has provided Defra with information and advice on climate change for many years.
2. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funds world-class science, in universities and its own research centres, that increases knowledge and understanding of the natural world. It is tackling major environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity and natural hazards. NERC receives around £400m a year from the government's science budget, which is used to provide independent research and training in the environmental sciences.
Press release: 40/08
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