World News

UK Spends £1.2 Billion For The World’s Most Powerful Weather And Climate Supercomputer

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Predicting severe weather and the impacts of climate change will be faster and more accurate than ever before.

Predicting severe weather and the impacts of climate change will be faster and more accurate than ever before, thanks to confirmation of £1.2 billion government funding to develop a state-of-the-art supercomputer, Business and Energy Secretary and COP26 President Alok Sharma announced today (17 February 2020).

Data from this new supercomputer – expected to be the world’s most advanced dedicated to weather and climate – will be used to help more accurately predict storms, select the most suitable locations for flood defences and predict changes to the global climate.

The new supercomputer, to be managed by the Met Office, will also be used to help ensure communities can be better prepared for weather disruption, including through:

  • More sophisticated rainfall predictions, helping the Environment Agency rapidly deploy mobile flood defences
  • Better forecasting at airports so they can plan for potential disruption; and
  • More detailed information for the energy sector to help them mitigate against potential energy blackouts and surges

With the government announcing its Year of Climate Action, the news further demonstrates the UK is leading by example ahead of hosting UN climate conference COP26, where the world will meet to agree more ambitious action.

Business and Energy Secretary and COP26 President Alok Sharma 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.

The new supercomputer will also strengthen the UK’s supercomputing and data technology capabilities, driving forward innovation and growing world-class skills across supercomputing, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence.