Met Office and Microsoft Will Together Build Climate Supercomputer

The Met Office is functioning with Microsoft to create a meteorology supercomputer within the UK.

They say it’ll provide more accurate meteorology and a far better understanding of global climate change.

The UK government said in February 2020 it would invest £1.2bn in the project.

It is expected to be one of the highest 25 supercomputers within the world when it’s up and running within the summer of 2022. Microsoft plans to update it over the subsequent decade as computing improves.

“This partnership is a powerful public investment within the basic and applied sciences of weather and climate,” said Morgan O’Neill, professor at Stanford University, who is independent of the project.

“Such a serious investment during a state-of-the-art weather and climate prediction system by the United Kingdom is great news globally, and that I anticipate the scientific advances which will follow.”

The Met Office said the technology would increase their understanding of the weather – and can allow people to raised plan activities, steel themselves against inclement weather and obtain a far better understanding of climate change.

The supercomputer will be able to:

  • provide more detailed weather models
  • run more potential weather scenarios
  • improve localized forecasts
  • better predict severe weather

“Working together we’ll provide the very best quality weather and climate datasets and ever more accurate forecasts that enable decisions to permit people to remain safe and thrive,” said Penny Endersby, chief executive of the Met Office.

Microsoft UK chief executive Clare Barclay said the supercomputer would help the United Kingdom remain at the forefront of climate science.

Supercomputing

The exact location for the new computer wasn’t revealed; however, the Met Office said it might be within the south of the United Kingdom. It will use Microsoft Azure’s cloud computing services and integrate Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Cray supercomputers.

It will run on 100% renewable energy and can have quite 1.5 million processor cores and quite 60 petaflops – or 60 quadrillions (60,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second.

That will, in theory, allow it to handle more data, sooner, and run it through simulations of the atmosphere more accurately.

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