Forecasting: Lloyd's funds the LSE to design and run climate experiments on Bluegene supercomputer
Thu 24 Jun 2010
Forecasting: Support more accurate national and regional forecasting of future weather and catastrophe patterns affected by changes in the earth's climate
Following on from Lloyd's contribution to help create the Centre for Earth Systems Intelligence (CESI), additional funding has been provided to Professor Dave Stainforth at the London School of Economics to design an experiment to make good use of the flagship IBM Blue Gene supercomputer system, located at the Hartree centre.
Changes in risks as a result of climate change this century will have a significant impact on the insurance and reinsurance industries. Foreknowledge of such changing risks would be valuable to these industries for strategic planning and capital management. However, generating such predictions raises many challenges and unresolved scientific questions. Key to all current methodologies are complex climate models. One of the most significant questions is how to judge what aspects of their output can be considered plausible representations of the real world. This project will utilise the computing resources of the new Hartree Centre Blue Gene super-computer to develop a methodology to do this using a method known as “shadowing”. This concept has been demonstrated for atmospheric models over very short timescales, a few days, but not to climate models over timescales of seasons, years or decades. This project will concentrate on two aspects of climate which are relevant to the insurance industry through their relationship with hurricane development and how it may change; these are ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic.
The ultimate goal will be to examine the ability of state of the art general circulation models to shadow observations in these quantities. This project aims to set the baseline for designing "climate shadowing" experiments over decadal periods and thus in evaluating the relevance of large models to the insurance sector; both today and in the future as the models develop.