HPCHigh Performance Computing

Contact details:

Bart van den Hurk
Utrechtseweg 297, 3731 GA De Bilt

The HPC Facility is used for calculations and information storage for high-resolution weather and climate models, including the near real-time and probability calculations for extreme weather, data storage and processing, model validation and trend analyses. The analysis and processing of Earth observation data is also associated with computation-intensive activities. With the setting up of Campus a computation and data infrastructure will be realised for all knowledge institutes (and other scientific research) that is of major importance for an integral approach for policy and other issues in the living environment (e.g. to support other partnerships such as NMDC and NWCL). KNMI has submitted an Expression of Interest to accommodate the Calculation Data storage centre of the ECMWF in the Netherlands. This means the accommodation of one of the largest computer data storage facilities in the world on Dutch territory.

With the expansion of the service provided by the weather centre towards probability expectations, ultrahigh-resolution nowcasting and 3D Near RealTime (NRT) warnings, an expansion of the computer facility is vital. This concerns extra processing of data, expansion of the operational model capacity and sectoral modelling (air quality, agriculture, et cetera) in collaboration with our partner knowledge institutions and planning offices. With the facility, the Netherlands will have the possibility to respond better to extreme weather and calamities. Examples are the influence of the weather (especially in the winter) on the road and rail network and on a large fire such as that in Moerdijk (Chemiepak). A 3D NRT warning system, including extreme weather and calamities at a very high resolution, is unique in the world. International collaboration is necessary to be able to realise large ensembles of model runs.
For monitoring and projections of climate change and sea level rises an increase in the resolution and ensemble size of climate models will also result in an improvement of the interpretation implication of these projections. High-resolution simulations give a clearer picture of the characteristics of future extreme weather conditions that the Netherlands could be confronted with. Complex feedback loops between human actions and the climate system must be represented to map the consequences of climate policy. This also requires a considerable increase in the planned computing capacity needed.

Connection to strategic developments