Predicting severe weather and the impacts of climate change will be faster and more accurate than ever before, thanks to confirmation of £1.2bn government funding to develop a state-of-the-art supercomputer, Business and Energy Secretary and COP26 President Alok Sharma announced today.
Data from this new supercomputer – expected to be the world’s most advanced dedicated to weather and climate – will be used to help more accurately predict storms, select the most suitable locations for flood defences and predict changes to the global climate.
The new supercomputer, to be managed by the Met Office, will also be used to help ensure communities can be better prepared for weather disruption, including through more sophisticated rainfall predictions, better forecasting at airports so they can plan for potential disruption; and a more detailed information for the energy sector to help them mitigate against potential energy blackouts and surges
Business and Energy Secretary and COP26 President Alok Sharma said: “Over the last 30 years, new technologies have meant more accurate weather forecasting, with storms being predicted up to five days in advance.
“Come rain or shine, our significant investment for a new supercomputer will further speed up weather predictions, helping people be more prepared for weather disruption from planning travel journeys to deploying flood defences.”
The new supercomputer will also strengthen the UK’s supercomputing and data technology capabilities, driving forward innovation and growing world-class skills across supercomputing, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Professor Penny Endersby, Met Office Chief Executive said: “This investment will ultimately provide earlier more accurate warning of severe weather, the information needed to build a more resilient world in a changing climate and help support the transition to a low carbon economy across the UK.
“It will help the UK to continue to lead the field in weather and climate science and services, working collaboratively to ensure that the benefits of our work help government, the public and industry make better decisions to stay safe and thrive. We welcome this planned investment from UK Government.”