The Met Office has signed a multimillion-pound agreement with Microsoft for the provision of a world-leading supercomputing capability that will take weather and climate forecasting to the next level and help the UK stay safe and thrive.
This new supercomputer – expected to be the world’s most advanced dedicated to weather and climate – will be in the top 25 supercomputers in the world and be twice as powerful as any other in the UK.
The data it generates will be used to provide more accurate warnings of severe weather, helping to build resilience and protect the UK population, businesses and infrastructure from the impacts of increasingly extreme storms, floods and snow.
It will also be used to take forward ground-breaking climate change modelling, unleashing the full potential of the Met Office’s global expertise in climate science. The precision and accuracy of its modelling will help to inform Government policy as part of the UK’s fight against climate change, and its efforts to reach net zero by 2050.
It follows the announcement by the Government in February 2020 that committed £1.2 billion of funding to develop this state-of-the-art supercomputer.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This partnership between the Met Office and Microsoft to build the world’s most powerful weather and climate forecasting supercomputer is a ringing endorsement for the UK’s credentials in protecting our environment, as we prepare to host COP26 later this year.
“The new supercomputer, backed by a billion-pound UK government investment, will act as a catalyst for unlocking new skills, technologies and jobs right across our economy – from data scientists to AI experts – all as part of our efforts to build back better and create a cleaner future.”