.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Climate change work wins supercomputer time

-A A +A
By Roger Snodgrass

One of the largest allocations of supercomputer time under a Department of Energy program will go to a multi-lab project on climate change that includes Phil Jones, a team leader in the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s theoretical division. The project, titled, “Climate-science Computational End Station Development and Grand Challenge Team,” is headed by Warren Washington of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, with co-investigators from five DOE laboratories, along with NASA and Georgia Tech University.The award bestows a total of 18,026,000 processor-hours on three DOE high performance supercomputers to help improve climate models.“We’re trying to put together a very high-resolution climate model – with very high-resolution ocean and ice and high-resolution atmosphere – in collaboration with folks at a number of other laboratories,” said Jones in an interview Friday.The last assessment for the International Panel on Climate Change used a 100-kilometer grid for ocean measurements. Jones said the high-resolution model would be 10 kilometers. The resolution in the atmosphere would fall from 100 kilometers to 50.“When you get down to 10 kilometers in the ocean, you start resolving eddies, the swirls around the Gulf Stream, which would be a fundamental improvement,” he said. “We’re trying to get to the regional scale so we can tell people what’s going to happen in their back yard.”DOE announced the awards this week, a total of 265 million processor-hours awarded to 55 scientific projects. The DOE INCITE program, now in its fifth year, under the Office of Science is aimed at advancing the nation’s scientific and industrial competitiveness. Processor hours are the units in which supercomputer time is measured. A million processor-hours equals a run of 1,000 processors for 1,000 hours, or about 41 days. A million hours on a dual processor desktop computer, a DOE announcement stated, would take more than 57 years. Next year’s awards are expected quadruple to nearly a billion processor hours.A second LANL project related to climate change was awarded 3,163,000 processor-hours at the Cray XT4 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Mathew Maltrud of LANL is one of the co-investigators for a project on “Eularian and Lagrangian Studies of Turbulent Transport in the Global Ocean.” Among the questions to be answered in these simulations is this: At what rate and by which pathways will material entering the ocean at its surface be distributed throughout the ocean interior?James Colgan of LANL is the principal investigator on a project led by Auburn University on “Computational Atomic and Molecular Physics for Advances in Astrophysics, Chemical Sciences and Fusion Energy Sciences.”The project is allocated 2,000,000 processor-hours on the Cray X13 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.Another project, “Bose-Einstein condensation vs. quantum localization in quantum magnets,” is led by Tommaso Roschilde at the Max-Planck Gessellschaft, with Co-investigator Stephen Haas of the University of Southern California. The project, budgeted at 1,200,000 processor-hours at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on a Cray XT4, is “framed within a collaboration with the High Magnetic Field Laboratories at Los Alamos, aimed at the observation of boson localization in quantum magnetic systems which would then represent the first experimental realization of a Bose glass,” according to its authors.