Supercomputer tackles climate change
Nov 1 2008 by Robin Turner, Western Mail

IT IS a descendant of IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer which famously defeated world champion and chess genius Garry Kasparov.

Now Blue Ice, Swansea University’s ultra-powerful but considerably slimmed down “new generation” IBM supercomputer, is about to try saving the planet.

Blue Ice, the first supercomputer in Wales dedicated to tackling climate change, was switched on yesterday in front of 200 guests at the university’s Mike Barnsley Centre for Climate Research.

The computer, the latest from the series of IBM “blue” series, one of the first of which defeated Kasparov in 1997, can now make two trillion calculations per second.

Surrounded by a spectacular visualisation suite, the surprisingly small supercomputer will try to help Welsh scientists understand one of the most worrying modern climate trends: the thinning of polar ice sheets.

Pictures of polar bears adrift on melting ice floes have sparked alarm across the world.

Tavi Murray, Professor of Glaciology at Swansea University’s School of the Environment and Society, has as his primary area of interest the study of fast flowing glaciers and ice streams as well as glacier instabilities.

Here is the full article.

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