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High-performance computing on issues of the future: The German Climate Computing Centre

Feat. Thomas Ludwig of the German Climate Computing Centre | 14 June 2022

If we want to keep climate change within tolerable limits and foresee the changes we will face, then we must make climate as calculable as possible. Climate research has therefore become increasingly significant in recent decades, for policy makers as well public discourse. How do scientists arrive at the results that we perceive as scenarios, forecasts and warnings? Part of the answer is: on the basis of simulations, for which mathematical climate models have to be combined with large amounts of data. In Germany, researchers have had access to the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ) in Hamburg since the late 1980s – a high-performance computing centre that is maintained by the public sector specifically for the purpose of climate research and which, in addition to computing time on optimised supercomputers, also offers broad support and services for its users. What exactly happens at DKRZ and how does it differ from other high-performance computing centres? What contribution does it make – to science in Germany and in international cooperation? Could modern technologies such as quantum computers or machine learning help us to understand the climate better and more quickly in the future? And: What does the climate impact of climate computing look like?

Prof. Thomas Ludwig is a computer scientist and heads the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ). As a scientist, he also researches and teaches at the University of Hamburg. In this episode of Digitalgespräch, the expert for scientific computing presents the mission of this special computing centre. In the process, Ludwig also explains how high-performance computing has developed since the 1990s and how the interaction between scientific modelling and the possibilities offered by state-of-the-art supercomputers leads to breakthroughs in climate research. With hosts Marlene Görger and Petra Gehring, Ludwig discusses what concrete benefits the results of climate research and data collected in the process can bring to other scientific communities and the public, whether research infrastructure receives too little attention – and why it’s not such a big deal if incorrect weather forecasts become a little more incorrect through machine learning.

Episode 23 of Digitalgespräch, feat. Thomas Ludwig of the German Climate Computing Centre, 14 June 2022
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The podcast is in German. At the moment there is no English version or transcript available.