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ICHEC / Met Éireann collaboration

Posted on 3 April 2007

The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) announced today that it is embarking on a new collaboration with Met Éireann, the Irish National Meteorological Service. The project will be led by NUI Galway, the host organisation for ICHEC.

Signing ceremony: From left to right: Dr. Dennis Jennings (chairman ICHEC Oversight Board), Dr. J.-C. Desplat (ICHEC Director), Dr. Declan Murphy (Met Éireann Director), and Prof. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh (NUI Galway President).

From left to right: Dennis Jennings (chairman ICHEC Oversight Board), Dr. J.-C. Desplat (ICHEC Director), Dr. Declan Murphy (Met Éireann Director),
and Prof. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh (NUI Galway President).

As part of this collaboration, ICHEC will provide computational facilities and support to Met Éireann to enable it to run its operational high-resolution forecast models on ICHEC’s flagship supercomputer, Walton, currently the 376th fastest computer in the world[1]. This move will allow Met Éireann to avail of state-of-the art computing technology, known as High-Performance Computing (HPC), to improve the quality of its forecast products.

This collaboration will also provide a suitable framework for ICHEC to bring its considerable expertise in HPC to the climate modelling and weather prediction communities. ICHEC will indeed take an active part in the development of faster and more accurate simulation codes that are of interest to Met Éireann and other national weather forecast agencies. This involvement is expected to bring considerable benefits to the environmental science research community in Irish universities.

Dr. J.-C. Desplat, ICHEC Director, stated: “This collaboration constitutes a clear endorsement of ICHEC’s professionalism and its ability to deliver a mission-critical service.”

Met Éireann, in collaboration with UCD, has already greatly benefited from the use of ICHEC resources. Through the Community Climate Change Consortium for Ireland (C4I) project, it has carried out major computer simulations of the past and future Irish climate in support of the National Climate Change Strategy. This new scientific collaboration with ICHEC, and the substantial computer resources it provides, will enhance Met Éireann’s operational forecasting and climate modelling activities.

Mr Declan Murphy, Director of Met Éireann, stated: “Modern weather forecasting methods depend on the availability of High Performance Computing facilities. By teaming up with ICHEC, Met Éireann will be in a position to run more sophisticated weather and climate models than it could afford to do on its own, and this partnership represents an excellent example of efficient use of national resources”.

Met Éireann[2], the Irish National Meteorological Service, is attached to the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. It is the leading provider of weather information and related services for Ireland.

ICHEC is a project funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) with contributions from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) through the CosmoGrid project. ICHEC operates the National HPC service, a service offered to all researchers in Irish universities and research organisations. See http://www.ichec.ie

[1] Source: Top 500 list at http://www.top500.org/
[2] See http://www.met.ie/

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