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ORNL's Newest Petaflop Climate Computer To Come Online For NOAA

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the why-yes-interior-decoration-is-important dept.

AMD 66

bricko writes with a description of NOAA's Gaea supercomputer, being assembled at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It's some big iron: 1.1 petaflops, based on 16-core Interlagos chips from AMD, and built by Cray. "The system, which is used for climate modeling and resource, also includes two separate Lustre parallel file systems 'that handle data sets that rank among the world's largest,' ORNL said. 'NOAA research partners access the system remotely through speedy wide area connections. Two 10-gigabit (billion bit) lambdas, or optical waves, pass data to NOAA's national research network through peering points at Atlanta and Chicago.'"

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I wonder ... (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463236)

How much a Petaflop Climate Super Computers contribute to carbon footprint...

Re:I wonder ... (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463538)

How much a Petaflop Climate Super Computers contribute to carbon footprint...

If it ultimately saves CO2, consider this computer's carbon footprint an "investment."

Re:I wonder ... (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463786)

How much a Petaflop Climate Super Computers contribute to carbon footprint...

If it ultimately saves CO2, consider this computer's carbon footprint an "investment."

The final word on reducing CO2 will not come from a computer, no matter the processing power, but the sandbag crews as they try to save New York City, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, the Netherlands, etc.

Re:I wonder ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38463834)

[Citation needed]

Re:I wonder ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38466100)

The final word on reducing CO2 will not come from a computer, no matter the processing power, but the sandbag crews as they try to save New York City, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, the Netherlands, etc.

You do realize that no serious scientist predicts this will happen, right? As in, no scientist has ever published a peer reviewed article saying New York will be covered by the rising ocean levels from global warming. Really, look it up.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38469528)

No, you look it up. If we continue BAU sea level will inevitably rise. Not very fast, likely only 3-5 feet by 2100, but once it gets started it will take a long time to stop it so it's inevitable that those coastal cities will be forced to adapt. So far most predictions of sea level rise such as the IPCC report have underestimated the real world SLR.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38467354)

If it ultimately saves CO2, consider this computer's carbon footprint an "investment."

At this point in the state of Man's understanding of the Earth's climate system, we're not capable of anything approaching accurate medium to long term modeling, so we're not even sure there's a problem, whether we caused it or not, to solve...nor that limiting carbon in the way it's been implemented is the solution if there were.

Heck, we're still attempting to accurately model WW2 battles and their environment and physics in FPS's, and we have a far better grasp of both the variables involved and the algorithms necessary, and are modeling something far, far less complicated and at a tiny fraction of the scales involved in mid and long term global climate prediction. There are so many other areas that affect global climate like mantle magma currents, our own oceans, solar science, and many more where our knowledge and understanding of those fields are still in their infancy, that it's impossible for me to see how it's possible to create a global climate model with any meaningful & useful degree of mid to long term accuracy.

It matters little how powerful a computer you have if you don't know what should go in and what operations to perform.

Garbage in, garbage out...particularly when the software is all pre-pre-alpha to begin with.

Strat

Re:I wonder ... (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469556)

Magma currents affect climate? That's a new one on me. I guess to the extent that they change the surface topology they can affect climate but it's a geologic process that doesn't happen very fast on human time scales.

Climate models are far from perfect but they're better than you can do without them. Hansen's 1988 projections for scenario B (which was closest to actual CO2 rise in the atmosphere) are a bit above current temperatures but he used a climate sensitivity of 4 when the actual value appears to be about 3. If he had used 3 his projections would have been even closer to current temperatures.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470598)

Magma currents affect climate? That's a new one on me.

That's the point. It would be a "new one" to everyone, including scientists. They don't know. Is there proof magma currents don't affect the global climate? Either directly or indirectly? Global climate science has barely even reached "abacus" levels of sophistication, never mind "UNIVAC" levels of knowledge & expertise.

Climate models are far from perfect but they're better than you can do without them.

You're kidding here, right? I mean, you're not saying we should make major changes in both the nation's and the entire world's economic and energy systems, necessarily causing immense disruptions and wild price swings in both energy and food costs, possibly destabilize governments (some with nukes), and cause suffering and even starvation for large numbers...

All this based on the results of a model that's "better than you can do without them"!?!?

Really?

No more certainty than that?

That's just scary if you see nothing wrong with this picture, man. Seriously.

Hansen's 1988 projections for scenario B (which was closest to actual CO2 rise in the atmosphere) are a bit above current temperatures but he used a climate sensitivity of 4 when the actual value appears to be about 3. If he had used 3 his projections would have been even closer to current temperatures.

!988 projections. What, only 23 years? And there's still adjustments and fudge factors to adjust? That just makes my point that the study of the global climate system is still in it's very early infancy.

I just think it unwise in the extreme to take steps that may well cause massive global economic shifts and starvation and other suffering for many based only on what little progress we've made in climate science. I mean, not too many years ago, there wasn't any such thing as a "climate scientist" as they exist today.

Too much suffering and even death to risk on such little data or the extremely limited knowledge and understanding we currently possess in the area of global climate science, particularly when there won't be any do-overs for a screw-up.

That's just my view from what I've been able learn.

Strat

Re:I wonder ... (1)

spike hay (534165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38479746)

There's no plausible mechanism for magma currents to influence climate. It's like saying ocean currents in Europa affect Earth's climate. Climate models do a decent job of simulating climate (benchmarked against past climate) and are getting more sophisticated all the time. It's not hocus pocus, they are based on physical laws. If something has a negligible effect on energy balance, it probably does not affect climate.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480610)

There's no plausible mechanism for magma currents to influence climate. It's like saying ocean currents in Europa affect Earth's climate. Climate models do a decent job of simulating climate (benchmarked against past climate) and are getting more sophisticated all the time. It's not hocus pocus, they are based on physical laws. If something has a negligible effect on energy balance, it probably does not affect climate.

Look, I just pulled "magma currents" out of the air as an example of some area of understanding that's not very advanced that could in some unknown fashion affect global climate patterns. Maybe it doesn't. Has anyone published a paper that rules out magma currents as having any global climate? That's my point. We're not even sure at this point what to include or exclude in climate models.

IMHO, there's simply not enough data yet, and humans simply haven't learned enough yet, to be able to make global climate predictions with enough certainty that makes condemning large numbers of people to severely-curtailed standards of living, suffering & possible starvation, economic upheavals, and even death because of such calculations, a sane choice.

Strat

Re:I wonder ... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38480690)

Has anyone published a paper that rules out magma currents as having any effect on global climate?

Oops.

Re:I wonder ... (2)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463614)

Very little, if it's powered from nuclear power (or solar/wind/geothermal).

Re:I wonder ... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463736)

Very little, if it's powered from nuclear power (or solar/wind/geothermal).

Which is still a tiny % of power generation. But I remain hopeful.

Have a peek at this in Solano County, California or have a peek via Google Maps [google.com] Very impressive area to drive through.

I just hope these advances in super computing are taking best advantage of low power processors

Re:I wonder ... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463768)

the blasted Solano link [fromthereporter.com] , take two.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38464810)

For once, your hopes are somewhat rewarded, and if you're OK on Hydro too, you should be thrilled. See my post above.There's still some Coal generation in the area, but Wind is catching on fast, plus for the last few years rainfall remains up pretty consistently over historic levels, and TVA would rather run that water through a turbine or three than just let it spill over the tops of the dams. Ash spill problems at TVA's Kingston plant 3 years ago have made Coal less popular with a lot of people, so hopefully the push for Wind will be sustained. Round heah' though, Solar is seem as mostly for residential use.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38464650)

It's in Eastern Tennessee, so it could get some Nuclear generated electricity from Watt's Bar, but it's probably mostly Hydroelectric, from TVA's Melton Hill and Norris dams, and lately some Wind Turbine based - I can stand on a modest hill and see the ORNL front gate to one side and half a dozen turbines to the other, say 12 miles apart total.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463820)

Work out their power consumption per core in watts/GigaFlops. Getting the maximum amount of performance out of the highest density of processors with the least amount of space. is the highest priority for suppliers now.

Top-end gaming rig have 1000watt power units to handle SLI/Crossfire GPU's as well as a quad-core CPU. Multiply that by the number of processing nodes, and you'll get an idea of the power consumption. Standard home has a 15 to 20 kilowatt limit to the electricity supply.

So a super-computer is going to be the equivalent of a small subdivision of homes.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

stevelinton (4044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38465378)

The article says 2.2MW, which is roughly 2W/GFLOP.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38466212)

Just think of all the homeless people that wasted heat to help keep warm this winter.

Some cities and offices, they would use heat exchangers to reuse that heat to keep car-parks or offices warm.ts

Re:I wonder ... (1)

stevelinton (4044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38466486)

Any reason to believe ORNL aren't using the heat from their supercomputers for offices or whatever?

Re:I wonder ... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38466640)

I guess not, but with the company I interned for, they had an IBM 360 mainframe with a good dozen air conditioning units on the exterior wall of the car park. Whenever one of these overheated, it was due to some poor homeless guy setting up a shelter around these vents.

Great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38463278)

Now they'll be able to massage that data to say whatever they want it to faster than ever.

The fuck we need this for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38463282)

Seriously, give me a decent 5 day forecast, and your best guess for the general trend of the next three months, and I'm good. I don't need 17 different hurricane models that don't agree with each other, and I don't care that sunspots and el nino are going to create a 43% probability that the Guatemalan Diarrhea Toad will experience a population reduction within the next 5 years. Spend this money on putting people back to work and improving the infrastructure of this country.

Re:The fuck we need this for? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38463356)

As an out of work Biologist, I have a great interest in the population size of the Guatemalan Diarrhea Toad.

Re:The fuck we need this for? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463394)

5-day forecasts are quite accurate. Check for probabilities, and if they're low, check back in a few days. I've been rarely surprised by weather in the last few years - as in, was expecting a warm, sunny day and got instead cold rain all day.

Re:The fuck we need this for? (3, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463478)

5-day forecasts are quite accurate. Check for probabilities, and if they're low, check back in a few days. I've been rarely surprised by weather in the last few years - as in, was expecting a warm, sunny day and got instead cold rain all day.

Depends where you live. Right off the Pacific Ocean a prediction is only good for about a day, sometimes not even that. All depends how directly a cell is moving relative to you position. Finding temperature and direction of ocean currents has a bit to say on the matters and doesn't necessarily move in a 2 Dimensional plane.

Living in the midwest, ah, you could see it coming days away. Very predictable over large land area.

Re:The fuck we need this for? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463682)

Living in the midwest, ah, you could see it coming days away. Very predictable over large land area.

Not during the summer, at least not where I live. Winter, sure, 5 day prediction no problem. Summer? Storms can hit hours after they give a prediction for sunny skies. And visa-versa: I've seen 95% chance of rain with not a single drop falling (hell, sometimes barely even any clouds). Always the possibility of tornadoes too: they can barely predict a likelihood for those during the storm.

Re:The fuck we need this for? (1)

steppedleader (2490064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38465032)

Thunderstorms can be quite tricky to forecast since their development can be very sensitive to small details in things like the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere. Often times during the summer in the Midwest, the difference between sunny skies (or at least just a bunch of puffy clouds) and severe thunderstorms can be only a degree or two in the temperature, either at the surface or in the low- to mid-levels of the atmosphere. Thus, if our observations of temperature have a small error, or if a small amount of error exists in a model forecast, it may be quite difficult to predict whether storms will occur or not. Similar sensitivities exist when it comes to moisture in the low-levels of the atmosphere.

Tornadoes are even trickier, since in their case we are still trying to figure out exactly what all to look for in a storm and the storm's environment that determines if it will produce a tornado or not. We know a lot more about that than we used to, but we are still a way from being able to say with much certainty whether any specific storm will produce a tornado, especially with more than a short lead-time (at least in the case of storms occurring in environments favorable for tornadoes -- there are plenty storms which we can pretty certainly say will *not* produce a tornado). Even if we figure out all the details of what causes tornadoes to occur and thus what to look for, predicting them will likely still, in many cases, be subject to the sort of sensitivity to small scale details mentioned above.

The mechanisms that drive large-scale precipitation, like often occurs during Midwest winters, are less sensitive to small details, which allows it to be predicted with more certainty much further in advance.

Re:The fuck we need this for? (1)

steppedleader (2490064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38464572)

The main reason forecasts are poorer near the Pacific coast is that we have few observations available over the ocean compared to what we have over land. Since there is predominately westerly flow in the mid-latitudes, storm systems are poorly sampled when they arrive at the west coast, but we can observe them thoroughly before they reach the Midwest. A lot of research is currently being done to develop ways to use current and future satellite observations in forecast models, partly for the purpose of making up for the shortage of obs over the oceans.

Re:The fuck we need this for? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463452)

Spend this money on putting people back to work and improving the infrastructure of this country.

Yea, 'cause it's not like any people are involved with the design, engineering, manufacture, transport, operation, and maintenance of a supercomputer!

What a maroon...

Re:The fuck we need this for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38463488)

We can put people "back to work" by creating something new. Creating demand for t-shirts made in some sweatshop is not going to help move anybody forward. If we want to create something new we need to gain a broader understanding of the world around us. That means basic research.

This project will not help by itself. It will help provide an environment of inquiry that will help develop minds willing and able to explore out world. Creating an environment that helps build up communities of people who are willing to question basic assumptions and explore the world around them will help create the kind technology and understanding that will help provide jobs many years in the future.

If that is too "touchy feely" or not immediate enough, then understanding the weather is important. We still cannot adequately predict what will happen to a big storm once it gets close to shore. Knowing what will happen to a storm in advance can help minimize the disruption, economic, and physical impacts of large storms. For people on the US East coast, especially in the South East that is a big deal.

Re:The fuck we need this for? (1)

steppedleader (2490064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38465178)

Having many different hurricane models that don't always agree with each other is actually quite useful -- the degree of agreement across models can often be used as a measure of uncertainty in the forecast. If all of the models show a storm plowing into New Orleans as a Cat 5 in three days, it is probably time to start evacuating. If one of the models says that, but the rest of them show it fizzling out into a tropical depression, chances are it won't warrant evacuations, and calling for them will most likely have a very large and unnecessary negative impact on the local economy.

If you think we should cut funding for hurricane forecast R&D, take a look at the right side of the millions section in XKCD's great money chart: http://xkcd.com/980/huge/ [xkcd.com]

For those who don't want to hunt for that, we've spent $440 million on improving hurricane forecasts since 1989, or about $20 million per year on average. The estimated economic savings from limiting evacuations due to Hurricane Irene this year (one storm, during one year) is $700 million. Seems pretty cost-effective to me.

Re:The fuck we need this for? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469582)

I count supercomputers as infrastructure. How many people worked on building the thing? Now they can start working on the next supercomputer.

Disheartening comments (4, Insightful)

burning-toast (925667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463480)

It's disheartening that most of the first posters are all trolls wondering why we would ever need this or are just trying to get cheap jabs in on a site for nerds. If you don't like the science behind it (climate sciences), or you don't like the technology behind it (computing systems), then why come here to comment?

Personally, I don't put much stock in the climate modeling capabilities of it just because that is not my area of study or interest. But having another large supercomputer with interconnects running at this speed is pretty cool.

I've worked at a company that had 8 of these 10Gb waves worth of bandwidth between Chicago and NY (and at an extremely low latency), now THAT was fun! On the other hand, the prisms and optics you need in order to separate out the lightwaves were hideously expensive :)

- Toast

Re:Disheartening comments (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463508)

It's disheartening that most of the first posters are all trolls wondering why we would ever need this or are just trying to get cheap jabs in on a site for nerds. If you don't like the science behind it (climate sciences), or you don't like the technology behind it (computing systems), then why come here to comment?

You think that's bad, try reading the comments on TFA.

It seems there's never been a better time to be a Luddite than the present...

Re:Disheartening comments (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469608)

No, the climate Luddites are a diminishing bunch. Reality is overtaking them. In 10 years there won't be many of them left.

Re:Disheartening comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38463566)

If you don't like the science behind it (climate sciences), or you don't like the technology behind it (computing systems), then why come here to comment?

Trolling is a way of life. A few are entertaining at it, most just sound like angry 5 year olds who listen to a lot of rap.

Re:Disheartening comments (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463598)

Slashdot always has its element of AC fun-seekers.

The hardware is neat, like seeing an incrementally better Ferrari (which is a car, if you don't get out much) The real blood and guts of these systems, though are sensors scattered all over land and sea. A friend worked a year for an agency which monitors ocean currents - trips out to their stations could be months long and working in miserable conditions (not unlike fishermen, whose livlihoods depend upon bringing in a catch) taking readings, inspecting equipment, making repairs or replacing one which got run down by a transport ship. All that data, coming in via satellites, real time -- that's the impressive bit.

Re:Disheartening comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38464226)

Personally, I don't put much stock in the climate modeling capabilities of it just because that is not my area of study or interest.

Well, there are more pragmatic reasons to not take stock in the climate modeling as they have never been close. Not once. Not even "nuclear bomb" close enough. Sadly, most of the initial doom and gloom which started climate change debate was initiated by completely worthless computer simulations - which, BTW, still get sizable research grants despite never having anything (literally zero) to show for it.

Re:Disheartening comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38464578)

the most impressive thing is those huge rollers they use to squeeze the library of congresses down so
they fit in those tiny little tubes of glass

Toys or tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38464886)

Treating something as technology for the sake of technology is a geek thing. Toys for big boys.

Wondering about the final use of something is treating it like a tool to accomplish something. There's nothing wrong about thinking about how a tool will be applied.

To my mind, throwing ever bigger computers at climate models is a mug's game. The climate is chaotic and bigger computers won't change that. What we really need is a fundamental breakthrough in climate science.

So, yeah, real nice machine. Too bad it's being wasted.

10 billion bit connection! Now that's fast! (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463524)

On a related note, today I worked 28.8 million milliseconds.

Re:10 billion bit connection! Now that's fast! (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38469034)

How much is that in nanofortnights?

Just imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38463582)

Just imagine a beowolf cluster of these !

Re:Just imagine... (1)

phil_aychio (2438214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38464202)

that would be some serious bitcoin.

Still Won't Prove Anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38463674)

Garbage in, garbage out.

Ever Since the 1960's (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463744)

Ever since the 1960's and big Control Data Corporation iron the latest/greatest supercomputer always seems headed towards weather forecasting/climate modeling. And we still can't accurately say where the next hurricane will make landfall in 3 days, or if I'm going to get rained on tomorrow.

Re:Ever Since the 1960's (2)

radtea (464814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38464340)

And we still can't accurately say where the next hurricane will make landfall in 3 days, or if I'm going to get rained on tomorrow.

Von Neumann apparently envisioned a world where computer scientists were like high priests, because he thought automated computation would allow us to control almost everything and predict what we couldn't control.

He couldn't imagine that there would be things so entirely resistant to prediction and control, and since for some reason he believed that the universe cared two pins for what he or anyone else could or could not imagine he concluded that no such processes could exist.

He didn't know about deterministic chaos, which turns out to be quite common, no matter how hard it is to imagine.

Weather forecasting is one such area where deterministic chaos reigns. Economic forecasting is another. Climate forecasting is may or may not be: wait a few hundred years and we'll see. There was a belief in the late '80's that the solar system was chaotic, but that turned out to be due to imperfections in our numerical models, which should be a cautionary tale for anyone wanting to drive policy from science that passes through climate models, although since limiting fossil fuel usage is such an obviously beneficial move to everyone outside the fossil industries it's not as if being skeptical about climate models is going to change any honest person's mind about environmental policy.

Re:Ever Since the 1960's (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38464434)

Interesting bit about the solar system and chaos. As far as open-access papers, this [pnas.org] seems like an interesting overview, though it's about a decade old now.

Re:Ever Since the 1960's (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38465042)

You're an idiot, please castrate yourself and anyone related to you. Von Neumann was right by the way, because everything is fully predictable, including dynamic systems in area of deterministic chaos. Chaotic systems differ from others by the fact that small differences in initial parameters result in large changes in predictions. Which means exactly what he said, with enough computational power and higher density of sensors scattered throughout the world, we get closer and closer to knowing the perfect set of initial parameters, or the parameter set at the temporal point from which we wish to start making predictions... which means our ability to predict climate and any other chaotic system extends temporally forward.
Please castrate yourself, the well being of our specie depends on it. I only wish that your parents had been castrated, which would have prevented them from infecting this world with genetic garbage like you.

Re:Ever Since the 1960's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38466910)

Whether its chaotic or not doesn't matter too much if the models help you find the bounding attractors. Freaking Duh.

AMD vs. Intel Fanbois (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38463760)

I always find it interesting how the Intel Fanbois are constantly taking a dump on AMD for being about 10% slower than Intel chips, yet completely ignoring:

- that the AMD solutions are typically cheaper
- that the AMD solutions support parallelism just as well as Intel
- MOAR CORES FOR UR BUCK (sorry, had to post in a manner that would get the point across)

I'm waiting for the constant whine to spool up here...I'll have the cheese ready. Why bring this up? Because using chips with more cores per chip in this configuration makes more sense...but I'm waiting for the fanbois to start dropping their whiny-ass bull about how the project shouldn't be using AMD cores.

Re:AMD vs. Intel Fanbois (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38466472)

UH... CPUs used in a supercomputer have fuckall to do with the CPU that I would want to use in any standard PC, mobile device, or even a regular server for that matter. Cray made a deal with AMD in 2005 (back when they WERE the faster chip) and is basically stuck with AMD for the foreseeable future due to being tied to AMD's hypertransport. The interconnect is what matters, not the CPU.

You want the fastest supercomputer in the world? Guess what: it uses SPARC chips. Now I'm sure you hate Intel enough to convince yourself that you should go out and only use SPARC chips since they are 'teh fastest' , but believe me, you wouldn't like the results.

Considering benchmarks of freshly release Interlagos servers with 32 cores only beat Intel models from 2010 with 12 cores by 20% at best... while losing at other benchmarks (and cost over twice as much so STFU before you go on about how "cheap" the AMD solution is) you get a good idea as to why AMD's share of the server market is 5% when it was more than 25% just a few years ago.

Slartibartfast's not impressed (1)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38463864)

[looking at picture linked] Where's the dining table? The napkins? A couple ASIMO waiters?

Re:Slartibartfast's not impressed (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 2 years ago | (#38464426)

Cray hasn't yet figured out how to maintain coherency within the waiter's bill pad array.

Maybe they'll finally explain it (0, Flamebait)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38464412)

Hopefully with all that extra cpu power they can finally explain why a good third of the temperature readings in any given area over the last 70 or so years show a decline in temperature instead of an incline.

I mean, it seems like the sort of thing they should sort out before using too much of that data for already-questionable models

Re:Maybe they'll finally explain it (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38467418)

Oh how I weep for humanity that factual and useful statements are avoided and shunned by morons.

Re:Maybe they'll finally explain it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38467624)

Hopefully with all that extra cpu power they can finally explain why a good third of the temperature readings in any given area over the last 70 or so years show a decline in temperature instead of an incline.

This reminds me of a Simpsons' joke wherein someone comments that Springfield's football team sucks so much they lose to Shelbyville's team "almost half of the time".

Re:Maybe they'll finally explain it (1)

Agronomist Cowherd (948449) | more than 2 years ago | (#38470876)

So if 1/3 show a decline, and 2/3 show an increase, isn't there just a smidge of a possibility that the overall average is going up? (It's not a gurantee, obviously; if the increases are small and the declines are large the overall number would be down.)

Climate models aren't intended to explain the local variations; they're there for the big picture.

The cagey way you phrase this makes this a likely troll. The climate folks have looked at all the numbers and concluded that, overall, temperatures are increasing. Yes, some local temperatures are declining. You yourself admit it's even a minority of local temperatures. That you try to turn it into some sort of accusation is trolling.

Re:Maybe they'll finally explain it (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471322)

Of course it's going up, NASA has confirmed that with satellite information as well as several other sources all showing quite clearly that the temperature is rising.

Basing models on data that is at least 1/3 bogus is fucking stupid; NOAA puts a LOT of weight on the land-based temperature data in their models.

What I said is that maybe the should find out why a large (huge in terms of science) amount of their data is invalid before they go about throwing huge amounts of power at more models.

You misread intense anger at the stupidity and political motivation as trolling. I would like nothing more than accurate climate models but we'll never get them until people admit that the data we have is shit.

Re:Maybe they'll finally explain it (2)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471710)

Of course it's going up, NASA has confirmed that with satellite information as well as several other sources all showing quite clearly that the temperature is rising.

News flash: the satellite and surface station temperature records closely agree.

Basing models on data that is at least 1/3 bogus is fucking stupid

News flash: "data that shows cooling" != "bogus data". Parts of the Earth do cool from time to time, you know (and are expected to, even with the enhanced greenhouse effect). The satellite data shows this as well.

NOAA puts a LOT of weight on the land-based temperature data in their models.

Climate models usually don't use temperature data at all (i.e., it's not an input to the model). They're run freely using only the forcing data (greenhouse gases, solar varations, aerosol loadings, etc.) and allowed to predict their own temperatures, without reference to any temperature observations.

When they are initialized with temperature data (in "data assimilation" mode), land gets exactly the weight it should: about 30% of the Earth's surface.

Temperature observations are used for testing the predictions of climate models, but the above remains true: land data gets exactly as much weight as its area average. And models are compared to a variety of temperature records (surface and satellite), not that it matters much, since (as noted above), they all agree pretty closely.

I would like nothing more than accurate climate models but we'll never get them until people admit that the data we have is shit.

As amply demonstrated above, you have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Maybe they'll finally explain it (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471848)

You're a moron, go and actually LOOK at the NOAA data. A cluster of stations within a 50 mile radius at about 2/3 warming and 1/3 cooling.

Stop being a retard, do some fucking research and piss off you gnat.

Re:Maybe they'll finally explain it (2)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 2 years ago | (#38472128)

A cluster of stations within a 50 mile radius at about 2/3 warming and 1/3 cooling.

Again, so what? This does not imply there is anything wrong with the data. You are deeply confused about what should happen, meteorologically speaking, on microclimatic scales.

Re:Maybe they'll finally explain it (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38472266)

You should go and hit yourself with a hammer, I swear to god you're so dumb it'd make you smarter.

Heh? (1)

bdabautcb (1040566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38471804)

Okay, this is neat. But did I miss something? What exactly is a gigabit optical wave, and why don't I have one?
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