NASA Goddard Announces NASA Center for Climate Simulation

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NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, today, announced the inception of the NASA Center for Climate Simulation [NCCS].  The new center is being billed as “an integrated set of supercomputing, visualization, and data interaction technologies that will enhance agency capabilities in weather and climate prediction research.”

NASA logoThe NASA Center for Climate Simulation has been designed to meet the unique computational needs of the climate modeling community supported by NASA’s Earth Science Division,” said Phil Webster, chief of Goddard’s Computational and Information Sciences and Technology Office, which manages NCCS.

The new center will specifically include:

  • The 15,000-processor “Discover” supercomputer with a peak performance of nearly 160 trillion operations per second.
  • A 17- by 6-foot multi-screen visualization wall for displaying high-definition movies of simulation results and interactive data visualizations.
  • An analysis system offering dedicated software tools for visualization, workflow management, and diagnostics.
  • A new data management system for accessing and locating data within NCCS’ multi-petabyte (peta = 1,000 trillion) archive.
  • An Earth System Grid node for distributing simulation data from NASA’s contributions to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Goddard has actually been doing climate research for quite some time.  However, with the recent shift in NASA mission goals and the help from a $5million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Goddard is taking the next big step.

The computing resources at NCCS are critical to our ability to use NASA satellite data in our model-based analyses, which help us characterize and understand Earth’s changing climate,” said Michele Rienecker, Global Modeling and Assimilation Office [GMAO] head. “Moreover, NCCS enables us to undertake climate simulations and predictions and to share the results with our fellow scientists and other users.”

For more info on the new center and a really snazzy high-def video, check out the website here.


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  1. Yawn… another climate center. I hear Wal Mart is going to have these as a regularly stocked item now.