In recent years, severe winter weather experienced in the UK has reduced the UK’s GDP by 0.5%, and resultant travel disruption cost the UK economy £280 million per day (House of Commons Transport Committee Report. The weather has a huge impact on our lives, affecting transport, agriculture, energy use and leisure.
The Met Office are world leaders in weather forecasting and climate prediction and run a sophisticated and complex unified forecasting and prediction code on high performance computers.
The GungHo project has been set up to design and build the heart of the Met Office's next generation software, known as the dynamical core, using algorithms that will scale to millions of cores. The software is being written so that it can be configured to run efficiently on the different styles of next generation computers. The project is a collaboration between the Met Office, STFC and NERC funded academics.
It is anticipated that the new code will replace the dynamical core of the Met Office’s Unified Model (UM) from around 2020. The UM is the principal UK tool for weather and climate prediction and is also used by national weather services around the world including Australia, South Korea, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.S. Air Force Weather Agency.
In less than a decade, scientists will be using supercomputers that are thousands of times faster than any existing system. The ability to harness the power of these next generation computers for weather and climate prediction will mean more accurate forecasts to help us to live more easily with severe weather and also to adapt to climate change, maintaining UK leadership in environmental prediction.
Weather and climate related natural hazards are associated with huge economic losses and hence ability to predict these events is of great economic value. The rapidly developing "climate services" agenda involves major new economic opportunities for the UK. This action is essential to ensure that the UK has the predictive tools to play a leading role in these developments.
“The Met Office is at the forefront of scientific developments in weather forecasting and its forecasts are ranked in the top two national met services in the world. This project between the Met Office, STFC - Hartree and NERC will ensure that the UK continues to benefit from the best science and advice available.”