More powerful supercomputing capacity for Canada's weather service


1 Mar 2017 Montreal - As part of its investment to modernize weather-forecasting infrastructure the Governement of Canada awarded a contract this past May to IBM Canada Ltd. to design, build, renew, and host a state-of-the-art, high-performance computing (HPC) solution, in the area of Montreal, Quebec. The 8,5-year contract is worth more than $430 million. It will allow for cutting-edge weather and climate models. Now it provides details on how this supercomputer infrastructure is used.

The supercomputing capability allows Environment and Climate Change Canada ECCC to provide many essential services including:

  • Supporting the Department of National Defence and Canadian Coast Guard operations in support of sovereignty at home and abroad and search and rescue missions;
  • Essential weather services to NAV Canada in support of safe aviation operations including warnings when volcanic ash is released into the atmosphere;
  • Modelling in support of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for sustainability of marine ecosystems;
  • Modelling in support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for soil moisture calculations to sustain and secure the Canadian food supply
  • Support Global Affairs Canada for nuclear test ban treaty enforcement;
  • Alerts of poor air quality, information on the spread of nuclear radiation and disease vectors for Health Canada;
  • Forecasts to Public Safety Canada to support responses to environmental emergencies, such as the spread of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear material;
  • Accurate observations and forecasts enabling fire fighters to safely combat forest fires; and
  • Climate change simulations to support Canada's position on the International Panel on Climate Change.
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