System will enable more reliable forecasts
Brazil will have one of the fastest computers in the world to help improve climate studies in the country. The supercomputer is being assembled at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), in São José dos Campos, one of leading climate study centers in Latin America.
The Brazilian government invested US$ 30 million in the computer, which should be operational by the end of the year. Called Tupá ('thunder' in the Tupi Guarani indigenous language), the computer will be able to run complex mathematical models used in climate research.
With a top speed of 258 TFlops, equivalent to 258 trillion calculations per second, Tupã is the third most powerful of the supercomputers dedicated to weather and seasonal climate forecasting. It is the world's eighth most powerful supercomputer used in climate change applications. This puts Brazil among the group of countries capable of generating future climate scenarios that will support the Fifth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations panel that evaluates the impacts of global warming.
The machine will make more reliable weather forecasts possible, further ahead of the event and increasing the level of detail to 5 km in South America and 20 km for the entire planet. It will also be possible to forecast extreme events with a good level of reliability, such as heavy rains, droughts, frosts, heatwaves, and so on. Environmental and air quality forecasts will also benefit, generating prognoses of higher resolution, of 15 km, up to six days in advance.
In addition to researchers from the institute, research groups who are members of the Brazilian Research Network on Climate Change (Climate Network), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT), the FAPESP Research Program on Global Climate Change, and the National Institute of Science and Technology (INCT) for Climate Change will also use the infrastructure. The new machine will also be crucial to the development and implementation of the Brazilian Model of the Global Climate System, which incorporates all the elements of the Earth System (atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere, vegetation, etc.), their interactions and how this system is being disturbed by actions arising from human activity, such as greenhouse gas emissions, changes in vegetation, and urbanization
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