Monday, November 03, 2008

Supercomputer tackles climate change

Extract From Wales Online

Nov 1 2008 by Robin Turner, Western Mail

Blue Ice, the first supercomputer in Wales dedicated to tackling climate change, was switched on yesterday in front of 200 guests at the university’s Mike Barnsley Centre for Climate Research. The new research unit, based at a university satellite centre at Technium Pembrokeshire in Pembroke Dock, is named after the inspirational Swansea University professor and former pro-vice chancellor Mike Barnsley, who died last year aged 47. Surrounded by a spectacular visualisation suite, the surprisingly small supercomputer will try to help Welsh scientists understand one of the most worrying modern climate trends: the thinning of polar ice sheets. Tavi Murray, Professor of Glaciology at Swansea University’s School of the Environment and Society, has as his primary area of interest the study of fast flowing glaciers and ice streams as well as glacier instabilities. In particular, her work in these areas aims to predict future contribution from glaciers and melting ice sheets to sea-level rise and, in turn, the repercussions that such sea-level rises will have on all of us.