Brazil's Climate Modellers Are Set to Go Global

Climate modellers in Brazil are getting ready to unleash a silicon god.

Named Tupã, after a native South American god of thunder, a Cray XT6 supercomputer is gradually coming to life at Brazil's Centre for Weather Forecast and Climate Studies in Cachoeira Paulista, northeast of São Paulo. By late November, when the machine is expected to be fully operational, it will have a peak processing speed of more than 244 teraflops, ranking it among the top 25 most powerful computers in the world. So great is Tupã's thirst for electricity that it will only run at 20% capacity until a new power source comes online in February 2011.

read full article: nature news


Drought in the Amazon, Up Close and Personal

Choked by a long drought, rivers throughout the Amazon rainforest are at historically low levels.
You can learn a lot muddling around a forest in the middle of nowhere, but you also learn a lot once you’re back in the city catching up on your e-mail.

In the field we worried about why it was raining so little. Back in Iquitos, Peru, we discovered that our field work had coincided with the worst drought ever recorded in the Amazon basin. ...