Can a supercomputer help to protect the planet from climate change?
Microsoft is teaming up with the UK’s national meteorological provider, the Met Office, to apply the latest technology to predict weather more accurately than ever before.
The partnership seeks to procure data that will help both parties contribute to the wave of authorities making environmental protection a priority.
So, how will Microsoft’s supercomputer help protect against climate change?
What Is Microsoft’s Weather Prediction Super Computer?
The supercomputer itself is slated to be in the top twenty-five globally, twice as powerful as any already operating in the UK. It will be dedicated to weather prediction exclusively, providing a much more reliable picture of extreme weather conditions such as violent storms and snow.
More importantly, the supercomputer will model our planet’s climate change trajectory, allowing the UK to continue enhancing its capacity for action in this critical area, just in time for COP26 2021 (the United Nations Climate Change conference).
The project will cost £1.2 billion. The investment will create new jobs in service of the future that it hopes to create. At the same time, the net monetary return has been estimated to eventually amount to a staggering £13 billion, right back into the UK’s economy over the next ten years.
The supercomputer will be housed in the South UK region. It will use only renewable energy, expending 7,415 fewer tons of CO2 than a system powered by traditional means, following similar efforts by other tech giants.
3 Ways the Super Computer Will Help Us Protect Our Planet
How will Microsoft’s weather-predicting super computer protect our planet? Knowledge is power. Plenty will come once the machine is brought to life, projected to begin its work in the summer of 2022.
1. More Processing Horsepower Means More Environmental Mapping Data
With so much computational power backing this project, the models of weather that it will provide will go further than any that we enjoy currently. The simulations that it will run will be crystal clear, of a higher resolution than the weather predicting software being used at this time.
And, with more computing power, will clearly come more accurate readings of key indicators of trouble in our midsts. Knowing is half the battle.
2. Improved Risk-Assessment
Weather is a fickle area of the scientific world—small, turbulent changes can debase what was a sure bet even moments previously.
An increased ability in our local forecasting capabilities will give us an indicator of where our world is most vulnerable. This allows weather scientists to see potential problems down the road and to gird our cities and citizens against what is to come.
With this new tool at our disposal, disasters in aviation will also be much easier to prevent. Dangerous conditions will never take us by surprise again.
3. A Broader Database Illustrating Our World
With every byte collected, we can understand the world around us more precisely, showing us the consequences of our actions and where we stand to improve the most as a society.
There are still so many unanswered questions impeding our progress when it comes to efficacious solutions to climate change. Engineers and AI will work hand in hand to analyze the data gathered, making connections that may potentially save us from ourselves before it’s too late.
A Healthy Planet for a More Equitable World
Our agility in the field of climate change could be the difference between a world uninhabitable for anybody and a bright, green, and resilient future that all people will be free to enjoy and to thrive in.
Microsoft’s latest effort to pull us out of the fire will surely act as a shining example for other powerful tech firms who wish to build this future by any means necessary.
To do so means rooting into the establishment; the UK pledges to reduce its carbon output to Net Zero by 2050, and this project will only catalyze this effort. Met Office will be one of the first to allocate such a hefty sum to this pivotal problem that desperately needs to be addressed.
It will help to reduce the impacts of natural disasters by accurately predicting them.
About The Author