£1.2 billion investment has been confirmed for a state-of-the-art supercomputer to improve severe weather and climate forecasting,
Data from the supercomputer will be used to inform Government policy as part of leading the global fight against climate change and meeting net zero emission targets.
Predicting severe weather and the impacts of climate change will be faster and more accurate than ever before, thanks to confirmation of £1.2 billion government funding to develop a state-of-the-art supercomputer, Business and Energy Secretary and COP26 President Alok Sharma announced today (17th February 2020).
Data from this new supercomputer – expected to be the world’s most advanced dedicated to weather and climate – will be used to help more accurately predict storms, select the most suitable locations for flood defences and predict changes to the global climate.
The new supercomputer, to be managed by the Met Office, will also be used to help ensure communities can be better prepared for weather disruption, including through:
With the Government announcing its Year of Climate Action, the news further demonstrates the UK is leading by example ahead of hosting UN climate conference COP26, where the world will meet to agree more ambitious action.
The Met Office is at the forefront of supercomputing, using its current technology to drive advances in environmental forecasting.
As a result, detailed weather predictions for the UK now take place every hour instead of every three hours, providing crucial and timely updates when extreme weather is approaching.
The benefit of this has been felt recently: major storms Ciara and Dennis, and the ‘Beast from the East’ in 2018, were forecast five days in advance, enabling local councils and emergency services to prepare and instigate resilience plans. Similarly, the Environment Agency has used the Met Office’s latest UK climate projections to set out potential future flooding scenarios and how funding can be best allocated.
For more information and a link to the Met Office article, please click here.