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The government said Wednesday it will launch a project in the next fiscal year to develop a 20- to 30-year forecast for typhoons, heavy snowfalls and other potential disasters likely to affect Japan.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry hopes that by coming up with predictable routes of major typhoons and locations of concentrated downpours, heat waves, heavy snow and other adverse weather, the government will be able to ward off disasters by allocating funding to vulnerable areas.

The ministry plans to spend more than 10 billion yen on the project over the next five years.

It will select the lead research institution through an open application process.

To develop the forecast model, the ministry plans to use the Earth Simulator supercomputer operated by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokohama.

The model will use data collected from around the world, including atmospheric temperatures, atmospheric pressure, seawater temperatures and sea currents. The supercomputer will calculate how the Earth’s atmosphere and seawater will influence each other.

Under the project, the ministry eventually plans to forecast weather for every 4 sq. km of the Earth.

Using a similar model, the ministry will also aim to forecast global warming and climate change trends up to 300 years ahead, and hopes to contribute the findings to an assessment report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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