Aussie Supercomputer Now Accessible To Researchers

Image credit: iStockphoto/gorodenkoff

Funding from the Australian Government will give citizen scientists, industry, international organizations, government agencies, and university researchers access to a powerful Canberra-based computer as they seek solutions and responses to the challenge of climate change.

The AUD7.6 million research center launched in June will see the supercomputer called Gadi, meaning "to search for" in a Canberra indigenous language, offer its simulation capabilities to researchers, many of whom already rely on the computer for astronomy, medical research, and climate and weather reports. Gadi is the largest supercomputer in the southern hemisphere.

The inaugural director of the new facility, Andy Hogg, said cutting-edge computer simulations and models would open up research into climate change, extreme weather events, and past and future Earth systems.

"This will not only mean more powerful and insightful research but hopefully better decisions for the pressing challenges and acute stresses our nation and the world face," Professor Hogg said.

"We are creating an open source weather, climate, and Earth system modeling powerhouse that anyone across the globe will be able to access."

Based at the Australian National University, the Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator can calculate predicted weather and climate conditions from a few hours to many decades in the future.

The simulator can also combine ocean, sea-ice, and land surface information with chemical and biological data to model currents in the oceans, extreme rainfall, and the pattern of droughts.

Acting ANU vice-chancellor Keith Nugent said the new facility means Australia can focus on the global climate and the Australasian region and southern hemisphere.

"It will also build the capability and capacity of Australian researchers and technicians in climate science, observations, and high-performance computational modeling," Professor Nugent said.

"It's an investment in our nation's know-how and our nation's future."

The federal government funds the simulator under a program for national research infrastructure.

Image credit: iStockphoto/gorodenkoff