Europe is building a ‘digital twin’ of Earth to revolutionize climate forecasts

The European Union is finalizing plans for an ambitious “digital twin” of planet Earth that would simulate the atmosphere, ocean, ice, and land with unrivaled precision, providing forecasts of floods, droughts, and fires from days to years in advance. Destination Earth, as the effort is called, won’t stop there: It will also attempt to capture human behavior, enabling leaders to see the impacts of weather events and climate change on society and gauge the effects of different climate policies.

«It’s a really bold mission, I like it a lot,” says Ruby Leung, a climate scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. By rendering the planet’s atmosphere in boxes only 1 kilometer across, a scale many times finer than existing climate models, Destination Earth can base its forecasts on far more detailed real-time data than ever before. The project, which will be described in detail in two workshops later this month, will start next year and run on one of the three supercomputers that Europe will deploy in Finland, Italy, and Spain.

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Πηγή: sciencemag.org

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