CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — One of the most
powerful computers in the world dedicated to climate change, weather and other
earth science research will be replaced in 2017 by an even faster machine,
officials announced Monday.
The Yellowstone supercomputer in Wyoming
currently ranks among the 60 fastest in the world. The new supercomputer, to be
named Cheyenne, will be at least 2 1/2 times more powerful, the National Center
for Atmospheric Research said.
Capable of 5.3 quadrillion calculations, or
petaflops, per second, Cheyenne will be some 100,000 times faster than a
typical home computer. The speed provides unprecedented detail in
climate-change predictions, including regional modeling of effects, the center
A more powerful computer will allow
researchers to see results in higher resolution, like a higher density of pixels
sharpens images on a television or a stronger telescope brings a greater number
of far-off galaxies into focus, explained Rich Loft, the center's director of
Scientists since 2012 have been using the
Yellowstone supercomputer near Cheyenne for a range of research that also
includes modeling air pollution and ocean currents.
The atmospheric research center plans to
install Cheyenne later this year and put it to work early next year.