Stimulus funds development of petascale ocean circulation code

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The JHU Gazette is running an article today on American Recovery and Revitalization Act of 2009 funded research at Johns Hopkins to develop a new petascale ocean model.

The supercomputer model, which will be run by a National Science Foundation–built supercomputer capable of doing a million billion calculations per second, will simulate currents in the Arctic, Antarctic and Atlantic oceans in hopes of shedding light on how small-scale turbulent eddies affect large currents, such as the powerful Gulf Stream.

…“Traditional scientific inquiry is being revolutionized by computing, and scientific computing and numerical simulation are becoming so important that they actually rival laboratory experiments and mathematical theory as tools for new progress,” Haine said. “There is an urgent national interest in designing, building and operating the biggest, fastest computers on Earth, and the group funding us and our circulation project is one element of this race.”

The effort uses $736,000 of ARA money, which seems low so I assume they are aggregating funds to make this happen

“Even though ocean circulation equations have been known since the 1880s, there is still a remarkable opportunity to make discoveries about how turbulent currents interact and evolve,” he explained. “By understanding circulation better, we can understand how other geophysical fluids work, too, like the Earth’s core, or Jupiter’s red spot or the sun’s photosphere.”

More in the full article.