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Met Office to Build Supercomputer

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A storm front.

A new 97-million British pounds supercomputer will improve weather forecasting and climate modeling by the U.K.'s national weather service.

Credit: SPL

The British government has approved a 97-million British pounds investment in a new supercomputer to improve weather forecasting and climate modeling by the Met Office, the U.K.'s national weather service.

The new system will be housed partly at the Met Office headquarters in Exeter, and partly at a new facility in the Exeter Science Park.

When the system reaches full capacity in 2017, it will have 480,000 central processing units and reach a top speed of 16 petaflops, which is 13 times faster than the current system. A Cray XC40 system will be used to create U.K.-wide forecast models with a resolution of 1.5 kilometers to be run every hour.

The new system "will allow us to add more precision, more detail, more accuracy to our forecasts on all time scales for tomorrow, for the next day, next week, next month, and even the next century," says Met Office CEO Rob Varley. He says climate scientists can use the extra capacity to run detailed models over much longer time scales.

"It will be one of the best high-performance computers in the world," placing the United Kingdom at the forefront of weather and climate science, says U.K. Science Minister Greg Clark.

From BBC News
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