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CLIMATE - Going small with big computers


ORNL's supercomputers are allowing climate scientists to zoom in on smaller and smaller areas to try to determine whether local and regional droughts influence climate extremes on a larger scale. What is the probability of a drought developing in the Southwest this decade? Ultra-high-resolution climate models may improve our ability to provide informed projections. In the highest-resolution model, grid cells are a mere one-quarter of a degree (23 miles) wide. "Data at this scale is only accessible with leadership computing resources," says ORNL mathematician Rick Archibald, one of nine ORNL researchers collaborating with scientists at Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories on the Ultra-high-resolution Global Climate Simulation project.

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