Published: Wed, February 19, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Exeter's Met Office to get £1.2billion super computer

Exeter's Met Office to get £1.2billion super computer

The British government plans to invest $ 1.6 billion to create the most powerful supercomputer in the world to provide more accurate weather and climate forecasts. The machine will replace the U.K.'s existing supercomputer, which is already one of the 50 most powerful in the world.

Meteorological office said that the supercomputer will also help services to mitigate the effects of climate change, "and will help to support the transition to a low carbon economy across the UK". A budget of 1.2 billion pounds, has been allocated for the computer. The new weather supercomputer will also have upgraded accuracy that blows UK's current forecaster out of the water.

Business Secretary and COP26 President Alok Sharma - who was handed the crucial joint role in last week's cabinet reshuffle - said data gleaned from the supercomputer would also help inform government policy, as the world gears up for a crucial year of climate action in 2020. The Met Office's three XC40s from 2014 cost a tenth as much as this new weather and climate supercomputer project will.

With Britain hosting the year-end climate summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seeking to showcase the U.K.'s leadership in both studying the climate and reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

It will be used to help more accurately predict storms; like Dennis and Ciara which have caused havoc across the United Kingdom over the last week.

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The new supercomputer is planned to be installed for use from 2022, when the Met Office's current Cray supercomputers are to reach the end of their life expectancy.

A supercomputer created to improve extreme weather and climate forecasting is to receive £1.2bn from the government towards its development.

After commissioning of the system will not only provide better forecasts (including forecasts of precipitation), but also help rescue workers to place mobile barriers from flooding, to balance the electric grid, and more.

Around £854m of the overall investment will be spent on the new supercomputing capability, which will be rolled out between 2022 and 2032, Government officials said.

"Come rain or shine, our significant investment for a new supercomputer will further speed up weather predictions, helping people be more prepared for weather disruption from planning travel journeys to deploying flood defences".

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