UK Met Office invests US$1.5bn in supercomputer

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The UK’s Met Office will invest £1.2bn (US$1.5bn) in a supercomputer to improve severe weather and climate forecasting.

Data from the supercomputer will inform government policy, as well as accurately predict storms, select suitable locations for flood defenses and predict changes to the global climate.

It will also help communities prepare for weather disruption through more sophisticated rainfall predictions, helping the Environment Agency rapidly deploy mobile flood defenses.

The supercomputer, managed by the Met Office will also provide airports with better forecasting and more detailed information for the energy sector to mitigate against energy blackouts and surges.

Alok Sharma, the UK government business and energy secretary, said, “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 defenses.”

Prof. Penny Endersby, chief executive of the Met Office, said, “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.”

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