Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Advanced computing system provides large-scale capacity to examine arctic sea-ice variations, tropical hurricane formation

University at Albany News Center: A new, highly sophisticated computing system will allow several new University at Albany Atmospheric Scientists to conduct large-scale research of arctic sea-ice variations, tropical hurricane formations and structure, and boundary layer weather conditions of large operational wind farms.   The computing system, which combines servers and storage into a ‘cluster,’ represents the University’s most powerful and architecturally advanced supercomputer. 

UAlbany’s Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (DAES) and the Office of Information Technology Services ((ITS) acquired the supercomputer, aided in part by a $35,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The cluster provides the department with the computing capability to conduct large-scale atmospheric modeling projects. UAlbany Atmospheric Sciences faculty members will utilize the cluster for the following research:
  • Understand how weather and climate works on the scales at which humans and ecosystems are affected ... The computational power provided by SNOW will allow for detailed simulation of individual cloud features, such as lake-effect snow bands. It will also offer long simulations that characterize the mechanisms of regional climate change such as the effect of snow-loss over mountains on regional weather and hydrology. 
  • Study the impacts of changing polar sea ice on weather and climate, and implement polar sea ice forecasting...
  • Investigate the causes of variability in hurricane structure, intensity and frequency using a hierarchy of different modeling approaches ...
  • Conduct numerical simulations using Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) models to explore the impact of wind farms on local climates...
A wind farm in Texas, shot by Leaflet, Wikimedia Commons, public domain


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