Weather Watcher

New Supercomputer Predicts Climate Changes




Yellowstone is one of the greatest natural treasures in the American West, and there’s now a new environmental “sheriff” in town. A supercomputer of the same name is set to model future climate changes and forecast extreme weather like no other.

“It’s a big deal,” says climate scientist Linda Mearns, Ph.D., of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, Colorado. The Washington Post reports that Yellowstone will help researchers calculate climate change on a regional, rather than continental, scale. With a better grasp of how warming may affect local water resources, endangered species and extreme winds, local and state governments will be able to plan more effectively.

The $30 million supercomputer, funded by the National Science Foundation, will generate climate projections for seven-square-mile tracts, instead of the previous capability of 60-square-mile units. It will also provide climate snapshots in intervals of hours, rather than days.

Mathew Maltrud, of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico, says, “We’re moving into a realm where we have models that resemble the ocean, the atmosphere, the ice and the land to a high degree.” Yellowstone will show a more realistic interaction of these components.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Tree Tally

By digitalizing photographs and other museum records, scientists are closing in on the number of tree species left to be discovered in the Amazon rainforest.

Tiny Baubles

As many as 51 trillion particles of discarded plastic lie on the ocean floor, threatening marine life globally.

Landfill Eulogy

Sweden’s waste-to-energy plants are so efficient that it has closed many landfills and actually imports trash to burn from other European countries.

Humpback Holler

Humpback whales that leap out of the water are making a big splash to communicate with distant pods, Australian researchers have found.

Window Pain

As many as one billion migrating birds die annually when they collide with glass windows in the United States.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags