Met Office receives £1.2bn to develop climate and weather supercomputer

It will help to more accurately predict storms, select the most suitable locations for flood defences and predict changes to the global climate

The Met Office has been granted an investment worth £1.2 billion to develop what is expected to be the world’s most powerful weather and climate supercomputer.

Data from the supercomputer will be used to inform government policy as part of leading the fight against climate change and meeting the UK’s 2050 net zero target.

It will help to more accurately predict storms, select the most suitable locations for flood defences and predict changes to the global climate, ensuring communities can be better prepared for weather disruption.

That includes more sophisticated rainfall predictions, helping the Environment Agency rapidly deploy mobile flood defences as well as more detailed information for the energy sector to help mitigate against potential blackouts and surges.

Alok Sharma, newly-appointed Business and Energy Secretary and COP26 President 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.”

Professor Penny Endersby, Chief Executive of the Met Office added: “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.”

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