Humans have always guessed when forecasting the weather and climate change is making educated guesses harder to do. To date, around 5% of high-performance computing resources are dedicated to weather forecasting globally. This requires a lot of energy and time, creating many harmful emissions.
At the same time, our weather is being more unpredictable and violent because of climate change. Today’s computers are too slow to analyze all of the world’s weather data and make a prediction before an extreme event, like a hurricane.
Over time, computers have improved their handling of many variables, like pressure, humidity and cloudiness, but these gains have also increased their energy usage. It’s a double-edged sword.
Advanced computers could have two positive effects here. They could have the capability to handle even more weather variables to predict patterns while minimizing the energy and time needed to calculate weather forecasts and climate models.