Friday, 23 January 2009

Cause or Cure - The Met Office Climate Change Supercomputer

The UK Met Office has ordered a new $46m IBM supercomputer to study climate change. The IBM machine, which will be up and running later this year, will be the second most powerful machine in Britain. However, according to a report by redOrbit, it will also emit an estimated 14,000 tons of CO2 each year (40% up on what the current machine emits).

This is one of the ironies of Green IT. Computers create a lot of carbon emissions (you should all know the 2-3% figure by now), but they can make a substantially higher contribution to savings elsewhere.

As Alan Dickinson, Met Office Director of Science put it “This is a fraction of the CO2 emissions we save through our work. We estimate that for the European aviation industry alone our forecasts save emissions close to 3 million tons by improving efficiency”.

© The Green IT Review

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