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Wyoming Starts its Largest Climate Change Supercomputer, Cheyenne

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In Cheyenne, Wyoming, a supercomputer started extensive climate-change research notwithstanding the ones doubting the global warming. Now, there is a concern among scientists that the research might be cut from funding with Trump’s administration.

The supercomputer is worth $30 million and is federally founded. The supercomputer just started to operate a few weeks ago, modeling air currents at wind farms or predicting the weather months in advance.

Cheyenne is the 20th fastest supercomputer in the world, replacing the supercomputer Yellowstone. Additionally, Cheyenne is 240,000 times faster than a brand new laptop, and it makes 5.34 quadrillion calculations per second.

Although it has been supported by the state, Cheyenne is a matter of concern for the global warming doubters; not only Cheyenne, but there are many other issues that create concern among doubters. In fact, in 2012, the fossil fuel industry has asked the University of Wyoming to remove an artwork that raises awareness about the climate change. The state, Wyoming, has also discussed whether K-12 students should be educated about the climate change.

A climate change skeptic, as he calls himself, Gov. Matt Mead supports the supercomputer in terms of Wyoming’s improvement in technology. Yet, the scientists still fear that Trump might cut funding for such projects. This is vital for the supercomputer too, as 70% of its funding comes from the National Science Foundation. As a result, 800 scientists from the U.S., including people from the University of Wyoming, signed a letter that urges Trump to take climate change seriously.

The supercomputer’s role is very important in predicting weather and analyzing the climate change. Regarding Cheyenne’s importance, Rich Loft, a National Center for Atmospheric Research supercomputing specialist said:

“We believe that doing better predictions of those things have apolitical benefits – saving lives and saving money, and improving outcomes for businesses and farmers.”

Supplying approximately the 40% of the U.S.’s coal , Wyoming feeds on its coal, oil, and natural gas sources. Consequently, Wyoming funded a power plant to study the carbon capture for $15 million.

Nevertheless, the supercomputer consumes 1.5 megawatts, which equals to having electricity in 75 homes. Yet, some of its electricity comes from a wind farm 7 miles away.

No matter what, the scientists in Wyoming aim to get great results from the supercomputer to analyze the climate change better.

[via AP]

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