NASA using supercomputer for global climate research

NASA using supercomputer for global climate research

Using supercomputers from Silicon Graphics, NASA can now better evaluate the effect of natural and human activities on global climate.

SGI said today that NASA is using a new 1,024-processor SGI Origin 3800 single-system image supercomputer at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The space agency is also using a separate 512-processor supercomputer at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The two supercomputers are products of a collaborative effort between Silicon Graphics and Ames to deliver enhanced computing capabilities based on SGI's modular technology, according to the company.

The new supercomputers will allow NASA scientists to evaluate the global impact of naturally occurring and human-induced activities on the global climate. NASA will also be able to better predict probable future climate patterns, the company said in its statement.

The recently installed supercomputers have already allowed NASA to realize a 10-fold improvement in running earth science applications, according to Ben Passarelli, senior director of HPC Product Marketing at SGI.

"The new 1,024-processor SGI Origin 3800 supercomputer at NASA Ames will lead to faster and better development of climate models for the earth science community, government and industry," said Bill Feiereisen, chief of the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility. "We have improved our ability to merge observed data and simulation by a factor of 10. ... Such a substantial increase in performance allows earth scientists to complete climate simulations in days rather than months, leading to a better understanding of how human activity has changed climate patterns."

NASA said that using the new supercomputing technology enabled the Goddard Research Institute for Space Studies to complete in two months what would have taken six months to complete on its previous computing platform.

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