Commissioned by Minister Qualtrough in a ceremony at the Canadian Meteorological Centre in Dorval, Quebec, the new HPC solution is used by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to improve the accuracy and timeliness of weather warnings and forecasts.
The high performance computers have extraordinary capability to process large-scale simulations, such as the modelling of complex weather systems, including the behaviour of major storms and their effect on the environment. These models are valuable to almost every sector of the economy, including health sciences, environmental management, agriculture and transportation.
The Minister commemorated two Canadian scientists by naming supercomputers in their honour: Harriet Brooks (1876-1933), Canada's first female nuclear physicist, who worked with Marie Curie and later contributed to research on radon gas; and Dr. Kenneth Hare (1919-2002), a Canadian environmental science advocate and one of the first to raise the alarm about carbon-driven climate change. Descendants of the scientists accepted commemorative certificates.
"This High Performance Computing solution supports ECCC's ability to produce weather information that not only increases the safety and security of Canadians, but will also benefit families who rely on accurate weather forecasts in their day to day lives. It is a privilege to commemorate Harriet Brooks and Kenneth Hare for their contributions to the Canadian scientific community by naming two supercomputers in their honour", stated the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Minister responsible for Shared Services Canada.
"Accurate and timely weather forecasting helps us protect our homes and businesses in the face of extreme storms and tornadoes, which are getting worse due to climate change. By supporting quality weather forecasts and warnings, the new High Performance Computers will help protect Canadians for years to come", stated the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
The new HPC solution is the fastest recorded computer platform in the Government of Canada, as per the TOP500 supercomputer organisation, and among the fastest in the world. It is close to 70 million times faster than the first supercomputer from the 70s.
Although the HPC is primarily for ECCC weather production, additional organisations will benefit from this resource: Health Canada for air quality alerts, Fisheries and Oceans Canada to support ocean modelling and Public Safety Canada to support environmental emergency prevention - to name just a few.