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Faced with the mounting effects of climate change, scientists around the globe are working on developing better way...
Faced with the mounting effects of climate change, scientists around the globe are working on developing better ways of collecting data that will help predict weather more accurately. The smart umbrella that was recently developed by the Delft University of Technology is a great example of one of these new data collection tools.
Using a supercomputer, Japanese scientists from the Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the University of Tokyo have been able to create a model of complex weather phenomena. Their research will help us better understand tropical cyclones, and even enable the prediction of monsoons. The research focuses on a phenomenon called Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), which has a great influence on the development of deadly monsoons and cyclones. The Madden-Julian Oscillation has a lifespan of 30-90 days and is most common in the Pacific region. Unlike the ENSO (El Niño), which is a standard pattern, MJO is a traveling pattern, moving with a speed of 4-8 m/s to the east, causing extensive rainfalls over the western Indian Ocean before moving towards the tropical Pacific.
Tracking this phenomenon has, until recently, been limited. But the supercomputer has allowed for the recreation of MJOs of the past, and these simulations will be helpful in generating future forecasts.
"The simulated precipitation patterns associated with different MJO phases compare well with observations," the researchers write. "Our results reveal that the global cloud-resolving approach is effective in understanding the MJO and in providing month-long tropical forecasts."
The K supercomputer is capable of performing 10.51 quadrillion calculations per second. With this processing speed, scientists can predict changes up to 27 days ahead of time. This computer uses a tool called a NICAM, or Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Atmospheric Model, which helps analyze clouds and atmospheric dynamics more easily. In 2011, the K supercomputer won first place on the TOP500 computer ranking chart, and it is the most powerful computer available to the meteorological science community today.