JASMIN - Environmental science supercomputer upgraded

2 June 2014

NERC and the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) today celebrate a major upgrade to the JASMIN cloud computing facility that lets UK environmental scientists assess and evaluate huge sets of environmental data.

JASMIN supercomputer

JASMIN supercomputer. Copyright Stephen Kill, STFC.

JASMIN has been designed for the Big Data challenges posed by 21st century environmental science and will expand its role as the infrastructure for a plethora of services to the NERC science community. The current upgrade will ensure a better understanding of, and a quicker response to, environmental change.

Run by STFC on NERC's behalf, JASMIN is based at STFC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. It's responsible for two main functions: infrastructure for the Centre for Environmental Data Archival, including the British Atmospheric Data Centre; and providing a platform for data-intensive scientific computation for environmental researchers across the UK.

Environmental science is benefiting from an exponential increase in data from new observing platforms - from sensor webs to Earth observation satellites. At the same time, increased computer power coupled with sophisticated mathematics is opening up more scientific areas to accurate simulation, which also generates vast quantities of data.

This means all environmental scientists face new infrastructural challenges. Recognising these, NERC continues to invest in providing UK environmental science with a unique platform for data analysis - JASMIN.

Professor Duncan Wingham, NERC's chief executive, said:

NERC welcomes this major upgrade to this world-class facility. JASMIN is a unique hybrid of petascale storage, high-performance computing and networking, coupled with cloud hosting capabilities, and will make a significant contribution to one of NERC's most strategically important challenges: the improvement of predictive environmental science.

Professor Stephen Mobbs, director of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, representative of an important user community, said:

With this upgrade, JASMIN will provide the entire NERC community with a key platform to exploit the heterogeneous and high volume data typical of modern environmental science.

Professor Peter Jan van Leeuwen, acting director of the National Centre for Earth Observation, who represents another key user community, said:

With JASMIN, the UK will be well placed to exploit the wealth of Earth observation data coming from the European Space Agency and elsewhere over the next decade.

Further information

NERC media office
01793 411561
07917 557215

Jake Gilmore
STFC press office
01793 442092
07970 994586

Press release: 16/14