New HPC project aims to analyze climate change's impact on water resources

New HPC project aims to analyze climate change’s impact on water resources

on Aug 10, 14 • by Chris Bubinas • with No Comments

The ICBA deployed a new HPC system to better support efforts to analyze the effects of climate change on water resources in the Middle East and North Africa...

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As organizations, both private and public, continue to expand the breadth and depth of their research, the utility of high performance computing solutions is growing. These resources are essential in countless areas, especially scientific disciplines.

The most recent example of this trend can be seen at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture's Modeling and Monitoring Agriculture and Water Resources Development project in Dubai. As Engineering.com reported, the ICBA deployed a new HPC system to better support efforts to analyze the effects of climate change on water resources in the Middle East and North Africa.

A unified effort
The MAWRED project, according to the news source, is a joint effort funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. To execute this project, the ICBA is working with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre, as well as a number of experts from American universities. These contributors will downscale climate data at regional and local scale before it is used as input for the NASA GSFC Land Information System models, which operate at the ICBA.

All of this will help the project leaders ascertain the possible impact that climate change will have on water resources and agriculture in the MENA region. With this information in hand, local government agencies and other public organizations will be equipped to make better decisions concerning their water conservation and agricultural plans going forward.

"The International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture undertakes incredibly important work to improve water management in the MENA region and help the most vulnerable in society. We are delighted to have been selected to implement an HPC solution as well as support their in-house team with security solutions and services," said Dave Brooke, general manager for Dell Middle East, the news source reported.

Technology is key
The news source noted that the ICBA is a world-class research organization, consisting of teams of leading scientific experts. However, as Dr. Rachael McDonnell, a water policy and governance scientist with the ICBA, pointed out, technology – and specifically HPC – is key to the organization's efforts.

"Technology is absolutely essential to our ability to deliver information to governments and public bodies which potentially leads to life-changing results," said McDonnell, Engineering.com reported. "The implementation of Dell's HPC solution is key to our ability to analyze vast amounts data which can be used to improve the lives of people in the MENA region."

HPC and the climate
This is not the first time that HPC solutions have been applied to the increasingly important issue of climate change. For example, the National Center for Atmospheric Research uses these tools to analyze massive amounts of weather-related data to identify patterns that would otherwise remain invisible.

Speaking to SiliconANGLE's the CUBE at the IBM Edge conference held in Las Vegas in May, Pamela Gillman, manager of data analysis services groups for the NCAR, noted that her team leverages HPC to examine the climate during the Paleolithic era, as a means of exploring climate change over long stretches of time and applying this insight to today. Additionally, the group examines data for purposes of better identifying upcoming hurricanes.

Gillman explained that HPC resources are essential for gaining value from the tremendous amounts of climate data gathered. Prior to the implementation of HPC solutions, the NCAR struggled to effectively wield all of this raw information.

As more organizations increase their focus on climate science and HPC becomes more sophisticated and powerful, it’s incumbent for development teams to choose tools that simplify the process of making these apps stable and efficient. Choosing a dynamic source code debugger that handles multiple processes and threads, for example, helps developers understand what’s going on within the app to better deliver analysis results that are accurate and reliable.

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