A new paradigm for environmental prediction?

Charlie Ewan, Alberto Arribas1

1Met Office, Exter, Devon United Kingdom

During the last 70 years, solving physical equations on High Performance Computers has been the main workhorse of weather, climate and environmental research and prediction. It has been a fantastic ride, substantially improving our understanding and boosting our forecasting capabilities.¬†However, Moore’s law is over, the energy cost of HPC is hardly affordable, and increasing the scalability of scientific numerical codes is extremely complex … Have we reached the end of the road? If so, what is next?
The talk will present ongoing work at the Met Office to answer those questions from a scientific/technical point of view (scalable platforms for data science, machine learning, natural language processing) and an organisational point of view (innovation, communities of practices, multi-disciplinary approaches).


Charlie Ewan
I am accountable for all aspects of Technology and for the core technology teams responsible for the delivery of services and technology projects. I work closely with colleagues in other areas of the organisation to maintain the overall technology enterprise architecture for which I am responsible. We operate a federated approach to IT delivery in areas such as supercomputing and observations to ensure that we have the depth and range of skills and experience to deliver a world-class capability in selected areas.

I have worked for the Met Office in a number of senior technology roles since 2008 and, prior to that, worked in the Business-to-Business online retail and distribution industry focussing on technology driven change. I have significant experience in organisational transformation in a range of businesses. As well as a number of consulting appointments, I worked within the Premier Farnell group of companies for over 10 years. I have run my own small technology company and started my career as an Electronics Engineer in the defence industry

Alberto Arribas
Professor Arribas is the Head of the Met Office Informatics Lab and an Associate Professor at the University of Exeter Institute for Data Science and AI. Alberto is also a Research Fellow at the Met Office and the Alan Turing Institute.

The Informatics Lab was founded to address the challenges derived from the complexity of data and science in environmental research. The Informatics Lab is the “Innovation and Technology R&D” department for the Met Office, with the mission of solving strategic problems for the organisation through a multi-disciplinary team.

Alberto is the author of over 50 peer reviewed publications, has developed world-leading prediction systems for weather and climate, served in expert committees for the USA Academy of Science and the World Meteorological Organisation, and won various awards. His areas of expertise include: Probabilistic forecasting for decision-making; R&D on emerging technologies; and strategic innovation.


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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