Use of the Supercomputer


The environmental changes caused by human activities may lead to exceeding the resilience capability of the earth, resulting in irreversible climatic and environmental changes. It has, therefore, become essential to be able to estimate such future changes. Unfortunately, it is not possible to create a small-scale model of the earth on which we can conduct environmental experiments, and based on them provide future projections for the real world. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct research on the mechanisms of global environmental change, develop numerical estimation models, construct an imaginary future world by means of computers, and conduct experiments. In order to support research on global environmental model calculations, the Center for Global Environmental Research (CGER) in cooperation with the Environmental Information Division at NIES has established a supercomputer system and offers it to researchers both within and outside NIES.

Specification of the Supercomputer

The supercomputer is used for elucidation and estimation of global environmental change. We purchased the first supercomputer in 1991, which was replaced in May 2013 by the fifth supercomputer, and in July 2015 we renewed the main computer. The core of the current supercomputer system is the high speed vector calculation server with a capacity of 384 nodes (NEC SX-ACE) and a peak performance of 98.3 TFLOPS. This vector calculation server has a high-speed vector calculator and a large-capacity central memory necessary for large-scale simulations of the global environment. We have also installed a scalar calculation server (SGI UV20 and UV30, total performance 43.1 TFLOPS) and a large-capacity file system (approx. 1.6 PB of raid disk), thus meeting a variety of calculation needs and the need for storing huge amounts of data. The system can be used all over NIES via an internal network connecting the various research centers (with a transfer rate from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps). By connecting multiple circuits, the connection speed has increased, making it possible to transfer large amounts of data among centers.

Number of Nodes 384 nodes
Number of CPU 1536
CPU Single Core Vector Performance 64 GFLOPS
Total Peak Vector Performance 98.3 TFLOPS (1536 CPU cores × 64 GFLOPS)
Memory Capacity 24 TB
Internode Crossbar Switch (IXS) Transfer Rate (GB/s) 8 GB/s × 2 (bidirection)
Software Development Environment Fortran/C/C++ Compiler
MPI Library etc.
Library ASL, MathKeisan, etc.

Implementation research

The themes for the supercomputer implementation research are selected after consideration in the Supercomputer Usage Committee, which is composed of experts within and outside NIES. In FY 2015 there were 14 approved research projects. The research results are published in NIES Supercomputer Annual Report and Monograph Report in order to introduce a broad range of global environmental research using the supercomputer system, and to facilitate information exchange among researchers.


Vol.25 Transport modeling algorithms for application of the GOSAT observations to the global carbon cycle modeling 6.2 MB
Vol.24 Development of a global aerosol climate model SPRINTARS 13.6 MB
Vol.23 Improvement of a global aerosol transport model through validation and implementation of a data assimilation system 6.8 MB
Vol.22 Evaluations of clouds and precipitations in NICAM using the joint simulator for satellite sensors PDF, 6.8 MB
Vol.21 Influence of Anthropogenic Aerosol Emissions on Pattern Scaling Projections -
Vol.20 Development of process-based NICE model and simulation of ecosystem dynamics in the catchment of East Asia (Part IV) PDF, 14.0 MB
Vol.19 Numerical Simulations of Turbulence Structure and Scalar Transfer across the Air-Water Interfaces -
Vol.18 Development of Process-based NICE Model and Simulation of Ecosystem Dynamics in the Catchment of East Asia (Part III) PDF, 9.7 MB
Vol.17 Atmospheric Motion and Air Quality in East Asia PDF, 20.0 MB
Vol.16 Idealized Numerical Experiments on the Space-time Structure of Cumulus Convection Using a Large-domain Two-dimensional Cumulus-Resolving Model PDF, 10.9 MB
Vol.15 Algorithms for Carbon Flux Estimation Using GOSAT Observational Data PDF, 2.2 MB
Vol.14 Development of Process-based NICE Model and Simulation of Ecosystem Dynamics in the Catchment of East Asia (Part II) PDF, 6.1 MB
Vol.13 Simulations of the Stratospheric Circulation and Ozone during the Recent Past (1980–2004) with the MRI Chemistry-Climate Model PDF, 14.8 MB
Vol.12 Climate Change Simulations with a Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere GCM Called the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate: MIROC PDF, 4.1 MB
Vol.11 Development of Process-based NICE Model and Simulation of Ecosystem Dynamics in the Catchment of East Asia (Part I) PDF, 15.0 MB
Vol.10 Modeling of Daily Runoff in the Changjiang (Yangtze) River Basin and Its Application to Evaluating the Flood Control Effect of the Three Gorges Project PDF, 5.6 MB
Vol.9 Vortices, Waves and Turbulence in a Rotating Stratified Fluid PDF, 1.5 MB
Vol.8 Transient Climate Change Simulations in the 21st Century with the CCSR/NIES CGCM under a New Set of IPCC Scenarios ZIP, 12.7 MB
Vol.7 New Meteorological Research Institute Coupled GCM (MRI-CGCM2) —Transient Response to Greenhouse Gas and Aerosol Scenarios— ZIP, 9.2 MB
Vol.6 Tropical Precipitation Patterns in Response to a Local Warm SST Area Placed at the Equator of an Aqua Planet ZIP, 7.4 MB
Vol.5 Three-Dimensional Circulation Model Driven by Wind, Density, and Tidal Force for Ecosystem Analysis of Coastal Seas ZIP, 4.2 MB
Vol.4 Development of a Global 1-D Chemically Radiatively Coupled Model and an Introduction to the Development of a Chemically Coupled General Circulation Model ZIP, 8.4 MB
Vol.3 Study on the Climate System and Mass Transport by a Climate Model ZIP, 3.9 MB
Vol.2 A Transient CO2 Experiment with the MRI CGCM —Annual Mean Response— ZIP, 3.0 MB
Vol.1 Turbulence Structure and CO2 Transfer at the Air-Sea Interface and Turbulent Diffusion in Thermally-Stratified Flows ZIP, 3.0 MB

Research Programs and Representatives in FY 2019

Climate change studies by development of global-scale terrestrial models
Studies on dependencies of climate sensitivity to different external factors
A development of ocean coupled chemistry-climate model based on MIROC5
Impact assessment of air pollutants on environment and climate
Daisuke GOTO (NIES)
A long term prediction model for coastal ocean environment involving suspendable particle behavior and its interaction with pollutant substances
Construction of GOSAT-2 model system for global carbon cycle
The reference data production for the reprocessing at the GOSAT DHF
Akihide KAMEI (NIES)
Numerical study on cloud systems using NICAM
Masaki SATOH (The University of Tokyo)
Development of air pollution forecasting system by using aerosol data assimilation
Daisuke GOTO (NIES)
A Numerical experiment on varieties of climates of terrestrial planets with taking exoplanets into consideration: an examination on habitability of land planets
Masaki ISHIWATARI (Hokkaido University)
Studies of the effect of seasonal change on the equatorial quasi-biennial oscillation
Kiyotaka SHIBATA (Kouchi University of Technology)
A development of continent-to-urban scale air quality prediction system and studies on aerosol-cloud interactions
Hisashi YASHIRO (Riken→NIES)

Archives of reserch programs

Example of research results

The supercomputer system is used for research on global environmental phenomena and problem. The system is utilized in order to reproduce and project complex natural phenomena in the atmosphere and ocean by long-term simulations covering the whole world, and to accumulate, process and analyze information on the environment and living organisms from the past to the present.

We have carried out numerical simulations on how the earth’ surface temperature changes in the future caused by global warming, based on the individual emission scenarios estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We have also carried out other important simulations and future projections in a wide range of fields such as the behavior of radioactive emissions into the sea caused by the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

figurefigure Fig. 1. Change in Surface Air Temperature using MIROC5 climate model. RCP8.5 case (BAU), RCP2.6 (less than 2°C degree temperature increase)

figure Fig. 2. Concentration of Cesium-137 in the Ocean Surface Layer (Bq/L) [left], Concentration of Cesium-137 on the Ocean Bottom (Bq/kg) [right]