Our supercomputers

Our latest Cray supercomputer, or High-Performance Computer (HPC), takes in hundreds of thousands of weather observations from all over the world. It uses these observations as a starting point for running an atmospheric model containing more than a million lines of code.

The capacity of our supercomputer enables us to improve our weather and climate forecasts. These forecasts help people make better-informed decisions, realising socio-economic benefits by avoiding costs, reducing waste and improving efficiency and effectiveness.

Ultimately, our supercomputer helps to shape a more sustainable world - from warning of extreme weather to helping communities plan for and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Delivering environmental benefits

Necessarily, the supercomputer requires a large amount of energy to run and maintain - about 2.7 MW of electricity. Everything possible is done to minimise this, and the power consumption remains small in comparison to the socio-economic benefits that the supercomputer makes possible.

Take our global aviation forecasts, for example, which enable airlines to save fuel by using the wind to help carry them to their destination, helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through increased efficiency.

Crucially, Met Office forecasts save lives through our Severe Weather Warnings, mountain area forecasts, marine forecasts, and a host of other services, including our climate advice and services which help avoid widespread and dangerous impacts of climate change.

Supercomputing makes it possible to increase high-resolution climate modelling and provide more complete Earth System models to better assess future impacts of a changing climate at a regional scale, especially from high impact weather. This gives decision-makers a clearer picture of climate change and what it will mean, helping to plan for a more sustainable future.

Find out more about our supercomputer.

Reporting our energy consumption

Our greenhouse gas emissions performance is overseen by our Environmental Policy Committee which includes an Executive Board member. Each year we publish details of our energy performance in the Sustainability section of our Corporate publications.

From 2012, we participated in the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC EES), the regulatory scheme administered by the Environment Agency with the aim of improving energy efficiency in large public and private sector organisations.

A summary of our CRC emissions for each reporting year can be seen below:

2012-13 CRC Emissions: 23,737 tCO2

2013-14 CRC Emissions: 20,764 tCO2

2014-15 CRC Emissions: 20,520 tCO2

2015-16 CRC Emissions: 18,696 tCO2

2016-17 CRC Emissions: 20,377 tCO2

2017-18 CRC Emissions: 22,301 tCO2

2018-19 CRC Emissions: 18,343 tCO2

Our supercomputer accounts for most of our energy consumption and the variation between the different reporting years is due to the different phases of implementing our new supercomputer. For example, during 2012/13 we were running both our old and new supercomputers in parallel for a period.

The final compliance year for the CRC EES was 2018-19 and the scheme has now closed.

Find out more information about the CRC EES scheme.