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Australia’s new supercomputer a boon for climate scientists

Posted on July 31, 2013
This recent undated handout picture released on July 31, 2013 by the Australian National University in Canberra shows a supercomputer which has been named Raijin—after the Japanese god of thunder, lightning and storms.

This recent undated handout picture released on July 31, 2013 by the Australian National University in Canberra shows a supercomputer which has been named Raijin—after the Japanese god of thunder, lightning and storms.

Australia’s most powerful computer was unveiled Wednesday, in a boost for climate scientists who need to crunch vast amounts of data to make forecasts and pinpoint extreme weather, officials said.

The Australian National University in Canberra has named the supercomputer Raijin after the Japanese god of thunder, lightning and storms.

“You could say that we in the climate science community have a need for speed,” the head of the Bureau of Meteorology Rob Vertessy said.

“The simple fact is that supercomputer capacity is a major determinant of our success in this field, but it’s always been a struggle to secure access to it.”

Lindsay Botten, director of the ANU’s National Computational Infrastructure centre where the computer is housed, said the machine can handle complex simulations and modelling much faster and at a higher resolution than previously available in Australia.

“Advanced computational methods form an increasingly essential component of high-impact research, in many cases underpinning discoveries that cannot be achieved by other means,” he said.

Predicting extreme weather, which Australia frequently experiences, required millions of lines of code and complex information to be processed in an instant, said Andy Pitman from the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

Read more at: Phys.org

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