Bluefire Supercomputer - Multimedia Gallery

 

Multimedia Gallery

 

 

Supercomputers allow scientists to run numerous, complex atmospheric scenarios to understand what has occurred in the past with our climate and to create projections of what might happen in the future.

NCAR is a major center of supercomputing. The center provides supercomputing resources not only for its own scientists but as a community service to U.S. and international universities and labs engaged in atmospheric research.

All images must be credited to UCAR and may be reproduced in news stories about NCAR & UCAR activities.

 

Videos

Color world map
A. Global Warming - 1870 to 2100

This animation depicts global warming across Earth's surface from 1870 to 2100. It compares warming and cooling during that time to a baseline of average temperatures at the end of the 19th century. (These departures from the average are called temperature anomalies.)

The map shows warming (red) and cooling (blue) over the entire globe; the graph displays the global average temperature, year by year. Five major volcanic eruptions (such as Agung in 1963) are noted in the graph, and the subsequent cooling is seen in the
animation.

The projections beyond 2007 (in red, green, blue, and tan) come from five different scenarios of future human activity that account for population change, use of fossil fuels, and other human decisions.

The red shading around the global average within the graph depicts the spread of results from five separate model experiments conducted on an NCAR-based climate model. The experiments were conducted for the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change.

(©UCAR. Visualization courtesy NCAR Visualization Lab.) News media terms of use*
Color 3D visualization
B. Clear Air Turbulence during Aviation Incident

DC-8 cargo plane, westbound out of Denver, encountered severe clear air turbulence in December 1992. Despite losing an engine and about 20 feet of wing, the crew managed to land the plane safely. NCAR researchers joined with colleagues from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study the incident. Using NOAA weather data from the time of the event, they developed a computer model at very high resolution to give scientists a three-dimensional view of the data.

(©UCAR. Visualization courtesy NCAR Visualization Lab.) News media terms of use*

 

Color 3D visualization
C. Hurricane Katrina - 72 Hour Model Forecast

This animation was created from data produced by NCAR's Advanced Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF-ARW). The visualization is based on a 72-hour forecast of Hurricane Katrina, starting about 60 hours before landfall. The path of the hurricane in this forecast animation predicts almost precisely the path of the actual hurricane.

About the time code in the animation: The Universal Time code is based on a 24-hour clock, with 0000 UTC (where the forecast begins) equal to 7:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time in New Orleans.

(©UCAR. Visualization courtesy NCAR Visualization Lab.) News media terms of use*
D. Earth's Water Cycle, Simulated by a Global Model, Including Hurricanes

NCAR experimenters boosted the resolution fourfold in two key components of the Community Climate System Model to produce the fine-scale details in this animation, which captures one month of a five-year simulation. The animation shows the global circulation pattern that transports water vapor from the tropics toward the poles. At such high resolution, fine-scale systems such as hurricanes and typhoons become visible— something not seen in lower-resolution experiments.

The simulation illustrated by this animation is not intended to recreate specific events. It is noteworthy, however, that two super typhoons actually formed in the Pacific during August 1997, when the animation also creates such storms in the same region.

Data points for the atmospheric model used in this experiment were about 23 miles apart on a three-dimensional grid, compared with a resolution of about 93 miles for global simulations prepared for the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

(©UCAR. Visualization courtesy NCAR Visualization Lab.) News media terms of use*

 

Photos

 

Large computer equipment with a man working on it
Click here or on the image to enlarge.

An IBM field engineer disconnects coolant hoses to some of the nodes in 1 of the 11 frames, the cabinets that hold bluefire's 4,064 processors. This process was part of several steps taken to reduce the weight load on elevators during installation. When assembled, each 3,200-pound frame weighs more than a small car. (©UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin.) News media terms of use*
Woman looking at very large super computer
Click here or on the image to enlarge.

An IBM field engineer checks operation of bluefire's InfiniBand interconnect system during installation. InfiniBand is a type of network architecture designed for high-performance cluster computing and networking. (©UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin.) News media terms of use*

 

Computer room floor
Click here or on the image to enlarge.

A technician insulates the incoming chilled-water and outgoing warm-water pipes for bluefire's unique cooling system. The chilled-water system terminates at the heat exhangers in the bottom of each cabinet, or frame. A separate liquid cooling loop regulates the internal temperature in each of bluefire's 11 frames. The heat exchanger regulates the fluid temperature, keeping it low enough to cool the chips and warm enough to avoid condensation inside the system. (©UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin.) News media terms of use*
Two men working on super computers
Click here or on the image to enlarge.

An IBM field engineer checks operation of bluefire's InfiniBand interconnect system during installation. InfiniBand is a type of network architecture designed for high-performance cluster computing and networking. (©UCAR, photo by Carlye Calvin.) News media terms of use*
Three men working on super computers
Click here or on the image to enlarge.

The process of installing bluefire included connecting coolant hoses through the computer room floor and attaching cables (96 per cabinet) to the InfiniBand interconnect system that provides parallel processing service for bluefire nodes. (Photo by Brian Bevirt, NCAR.) News media terms of use*