Govt adds an­other su­per­com­puter to boost weather fore­cast ca­pa­bil­ity

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Nation - Anonna Dutt let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

NEWDELHI: The Union govern­ment on Tuesday in­au­gu­rated a sec­ond su­per­com­puter to en­hance India’s ca­pa­bil­ity to fore­cast weather, pro­cure ad­vance in­for­ma­tion on nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, cre­ate cli­mate mod­els and study oceans from June.

This is the sec­ond su­per­com­puter pro­cured by the min­istry of earth sciences for the pur­pose this month, with the first be­ing in­stalled at the In­dian In­sti­tute of Trop­i­cal Me­te­o­rol­ogy in Pune. This unit will be used at Noida’s Na­tional Cen­tre for Medium Range Weather Fore­cast.

“India comes fourth in terms of hav­ing a ded­i­cated high-per­for­mance com­put­ing re­source for cli­mate, af­ter the United States, United King­dom and Ja­pan,” said Union min­is­ter for science and tech­nol­ogy Dr Harsh Vard­han.

The com­bined peak ca­pac­ity of both the su­per­com­put­ers, which cost Rs 450 crore, is 6.8 petaflops (a mea­sure of pro­cess­ing speed). This will add to the 1.2 petaflop ca­pac­ity of ex­ist­ing equip­ment.

The su­per­com­put­ers will gen­er­ate high-res­o­lu­tion mod­els to help scientists pro­vide block­level weather fore­cast­ing data. Data is cur­rently avail­able at the dis­trict level. “We ex­pect to pro­vide block-level data for a ra­dius of 15 to 20 km from June (be­fore the mon­soon) ev­ery morn­ing,” said Dr M Ra­jee­van, sec­re­tary, min­istry of earth sciences.

Be­sides help­ing farm­ers, the su­per­com­put­ers will as­sist in the de­vel­op­ment of high-res­o­lu­tion mod­els to en­hance the fore­cast of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. “The min­istry of earth sciences is do­ing his­toric work. The 2004 tsunami caught us un­aware, but now India has a tsunami-warn­ing sys­tem that can pro­vide alerts to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries as well,” said Dr Harsh Vard­han.


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