NOAA Supercomputer Tapped For Climate Change Research - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture

NOAA Supercomputer Tapped For Climate Change Research

Housed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the 14-cabinet, 260-teraflop system is the most powerful supercomputer operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.




Image Gallery: Government's 10 Most Powerful Supercomputers
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)

A new supercomputer operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) -- the most powerful one the agency has -- will soon be used exclusively for climate research.

The 14-cabinet, 260-teraflop system -- a Cray XT6 called "Climate" -- is expected to be operational by Oct. 1, said Buddy Bland, the project director for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, via email.

The computer is housed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) at the University of Tennessee alongside the most powerful super computers from two other federal agencies -- the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, he said. ORNL is the Department of Energy's largest science and energy lab.

Currently, Climate is the smallest of the agency supercomputers housed at ORNL. It will gain more power next summer with the addition of 22 XE6 cabinets with 721 teraflops of compute power, Bland said. Some of Climate's cabinets also will get an upgrade in late 2011 or early 2012, he said.

Climate is part of a five-year, $215 million agreement between ORNL and NOAA.

ORNL has been the site of some of the earliest and most powerful supercomputers. In the mid-1990s, the INTEL Paragon -- one of the fastest, non-classified computers at the time -- was located there.

NOAA's supercomputer work has focused traditionally on complex computational modeling to do weather forecasting, but the agency has been shifting its focus to use supercomputers to predicting climate change.

Recently, the agency's use of supercomputers to general 3D models garnered attention when it was used to predict the trajectory of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA worked with researchers at several U.S. universities to apply a hurricane-modeling system called the Advanced Circulation Model to track the spill.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
IT Careers: 12 Job Skills in Demand for 2020
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  10/1/2019
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Multi-Cloud Adoption
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  9/27/2019
Commentary
5 Ways CIOs Can Better Compete to Recruit Top Tech Talent
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  10/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Data Science and AI in the Fast Lane
This IT Trend Report will help you gain insight into how quickly and dramatically data science is influencing how enterprises are managed and where they will derive business success. Read the report today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll