Use of the Supercomputer

Changes in the environment caused by human activities may lead to exceeding the Earth's resilience capability, resulting in irreversible climatic and environmental changes. To prevent this to happen, it is necessary to make future projections and to take appropriate countermeasures.

The Earth system that surrounds us, including the atmosphere, oceans, and rivers, is based on complex physical, chemical, and biological processes. We need to reproduce a virtual earth environment using computers incorporating the latest knowledge of these various processes, examine climatic and environmental changes, and make detailed temporal and spatial projections.

In order to support research on global environmental model calculations, the Center for Global Environmental Research (CGER) in cooperation with the Environmental Information Department at NIES has established a supercomputer system and offers it to researchers both within and outside NIES.

Specification of the Supercomputer

The supercomputer (vector processor) was installed to elucidate and project phenomena related to global environmental change. The first supercomputer was introduced in fiscal year 1991 and it was updated to its seventh version in March 2020.

The core of the current supercomputer system is an ultra-high-speed 256VE (Vector Engine) vector processor (NEC SX-Aurora TSUBASA A511-64, peak performance: 622.8 TFLOPS). The vector processor has an ultra-high-speed vector calculator and a large-capacity memory necessary for large-scale calculations such as global environmental simulations. In addition, a scalar processor (HPE Apollo2000, peak performance: 86.0 TFLOPS) and a large-capacity file system with an effective capacity of 22 PB have been introduced to meet various calculation needs and the need for storing a huge amount of calculation data. These systems are available via an internal network connecting the various research centers.

SX-Aurora TSUBASA (Vector processing computer)

Apollo 2000 (Scalar processing computer) and Parallel Storage

Number of Nodes 256 VE nodes
Total Number of CPU Cores 2048
Peak Vector Performance 622.8 TFLOPS (622.8 trillion floating point calculations per second)
(2048 CPU cores × 304 GFLOPS)
Central Memory Capacity 12 TB
Internode Crossbar Switch (IXS) Transfer Rate (GB/s) 12.5 GB/s × 2 (bidirection)
OS CentOS 7
Compiler NEC SDK for VE
Libraries NetCDF,GFD Cyber Library (DCL), etc.
Tools GTOOL, GrADS, etc.

Implementation research

The supercomputer implementation research themes are selected after consideration by the “Supercomputer Usage Committee”, which is composed of experts from within and outside of NIES. The research results are published in the 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 users.


2018 PDF, 8.1 MB
2017 PDF, 9.8 MB
2016 PDF, 7.5 MB
2015 PDF, 9.3 MB
2014 PDF, 12.5 MB
2013 PDF, 11.5 MB
2012 PDF, 9.7 MB
2011 PDF, 9.6 MB
2010 PDF, 10.9 MB
2009 PDF, 19.0 MB
2008 PDF, 10.3 MB
2007 PDF, 7.9 MB
2006 PDF, 5.6 MB
Vol.14 (2005) PDF, 7.8 MB
Vol.13 (2004) PDF, 27.9 MB
Vol.12 (2003) PDF, 9.6 MB
Vol.11 (2002) PDF, 5.6 MB
Vol.10 (2001) ZIP, 21.9 MB
Vol.9 (2000) ZIP, 6.1 MB
Vol.8 (1999) ZIP, 6.8 MB
Vol.7 (1998) ZIP, 7.0 MB
Vol.6 (1997) ZIP, 4.1 MB
Vol.5 (1996) ZIP, 3.2 MB
Vol.4 ZIP, 2.2 MB
Vol.3 ZIP, 2.3 MB
Vol.2 ZIP, 2.8 MB
Vol.1 ZIP, 4.5 MB


Vol.26 Development of process-based NICE model and simulation of ecosystem dynamics in the catchment of East Asia (Part V) 10.6 MB
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]