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Researchers have begun operating a new global climate model for a supercomputer system they claim can accurately re-create climate changes on Earth.

The model, to operate on the Earth Simulator supercomputer system, is designed to provide a more detailed, accurate forecast of climate changes, and can re-create climate changes occurring over a 100-year period in only about three months, according to a team member.

Developed by a team led by Keiko Takahashi, from the education ministry’s Earth Simulator Center based in Yokohama, the model is unlike existing simulations that have been used to study global warming and for other purposes.

The findings will be reported Thursday during a symposium at Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

The Earth Simulator is an ultra-high-speed parallel computation system developed by the National Space Development Agency of Japan, the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute and the Japan Marine Science and Technology Center. It was completed in March 2002.

Researchers from different fields are now using the Earth Simulator to make projections about the El Nino phenomenon, global warming and for other scientific purposes.

While data on such factors as wind direction and seawater temperature in past models were limited to information from about 200,000 spots, the model for the Earth Simulator can handle data from 4.4 million locations, Takahashi said.

She said it may be possible to increase the number of locations to up to 200 million, and predicted that in one to two years, changes in rainfall and temperature rises will be forecast with great precision.

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