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Environmental Modelling


Environmental modelling is one of the major areas of research currently performed on the CSAR service. Virtually all such work is funded through the Natural Environmental Research Council. Research topics include atmospheric, oceanic, climate and solid earth modelling, mostly performed by a small number of large consortia involving:

The work is carried out using both codes written by the users themselves specifically for HPC systems, and also using the Unified Model code, developed by the UK Met Office.

The need to improve analyses on a global scale, for example in the context of global warming, requires computation on finer grids, and coupling between all areas of research, thus continually increasing the computational demands.

In addition, much of this work involves the generation, analysis and storage of huge quantities af data, so the HPC requirement is not only for computing time but also the ability to conveniently access ever increasing amounts of data.

Details of examples are given below.

Example 1: A new look at Trophospheric Chemistry

This article outlines the work carried out by the Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Cambridge into the chemistry of the lowest part of the atmosphere. An outline of the computational modelling techniques is complemented by graphical evidence of the high accuracy which can be achieved by using high performance computers to model at fine resolution. Full article (PDF)

Example 2: Turbulent flow over groups of urban-like obstacles

This article looks at the need for modelling of complex turbulent flows around buildings and the research possibilities offered by high performance computers, in particular the SGI Altix. Full article (PDF)

Example 3: Implementation of a combined wave and current modelling system

Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory conducts research into the dynamics of the ocean. This article looks at the use of Newton to implement a combined wave and current modelling system. Full article (PDF)

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