Weather supercomputer used to predict climate change is one of Britain’s worst polluters
The Met Office has caused a storm of controversy after it was revealed their £30million supercomputer designed to predict climate change is one of Britain’s worst polluters.
The massive machine – the UK’s most powerful computer with a whopping 15 million megabytes of memory – was installed in the Met Office’s headquarters in Exeter, Devon.
It is capable of 1,000 billion calculations every second to feed data to 400 scientists and uses 1.2 megawatts of energy to run – enough to power more than 1,000 homes.
The machine was hailed as the ‘future of weather prediction’ with the ability to produce more accurate forecasts and produce climate change modelling.
However the Met Office’s HQ has now been named as one of the worst buildings in Britain for pollution – responsible for more than 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
It says 75 per cent of its carbon footprint is produced by the super computer meaning the machine is officially one of the country’s least green machines.
Green campaigners say it is ‘ironic’ that a computer designed to help stave-off climate change is responsible for such high levels of pollution.
But Met Office spokesman Barry Grommett said the computer was ‘vital’ to British meteorology and to help predict weather and environmental change.
He said: ‘We recognise that it is big but it is also necessary. We couldn’t do what we do without it.
‘We would be throwing ourselves back into the dark ages of weather forecasting if we withdrew our reliance on supercomputing, it’s as simple as that.’
The figures have been published by the Department of Communities and Local Government which calculated the ratings and emissions of every public building in the country.
“We couldn’t do what we do without it.” – like botch the BBQ summer forecast?