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Germany unveils world’s largest weather supercomputer

Berlin — Germany Thursday unveiled the world’s most powerful weather supercomputer that scientists hope will provide critical data on global warming for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Weighing in at 35 tonnes and using 50 kilometres (31 miles) of cables, the supercomputer named "Blizzard" is capable of 158 TeraFlops, or 158 trillion calculations, per second.

Scientists said that in addition to tracking reactions in the atmosphere and the oceans, "Blizzard" should be able to work out the influence of ice and plants on greenhouse gases and climate change.

Blizzard is "60 times faster than its predecessor and one of the world’s largest supercomputers," the German climate research centre in Hamburg said in a statement.

"The new supercomputer should be in a position to model even tornados and very small eddies," added the centre, whose data are also being used at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen.