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Comment: Re:wrong (Score 1) 211

by Ambitwistor (#44168825) Attached to: A Case For Unilateral US Nuclear Warhead Reductions

Either Mt. Pinatubo or Mt. St. Helens were far larger than that in terms of energy and vastly more effective at coupling the debris into the upper atmosphere. Add to that the large amounts of sulfur compounds they emitted. So, where was the massive weather disruption or global cooling (or warming for that matter)? It didn't happen. It hasn't happened then or even with Krakatoa or other massive eruptions of less than Yellowstone or Mt. Toba scale.

Both Pinatubo and Krakatoa had noticeable climatic consequences. But those effects lasted only a few years, on the surface. (Krakatoa probably affected ocean heat for many decades.) Tambora helped cause "the year without a summer".

16 nukes wouldn't do much, but a large number of nukes could cause a nuclear winter. For the climatic consequences of that, see this paper.

Comment: Re:Department of Energy secret supercomputer (Score 1) 96

by Ambitwistor (#44113467) Attached to: Breaking Supercomputers' Exaflops Barrier

The Jaguar/Titan system mentioned in your link is used for unclassified scientific computing. The NSA is building a computer facility at ORNL, but that's a different system (and was never claimed to be for stockpile stewardship). They don't put classified jobs onto unclassified systems.

Comment: Re:Why (Score 1) 96

by Ambitwistor (#44113343) Attached to: Breaking Supercomputers' Exaflops Barrier

Exascale computers would be helpful for climate modeling. Right now climate models don't have the same resolution as weather models, because they need to be run for much longer periods of time. This means that they don't have the resolution to simulate clouds directly, and resort to average statistical approximations of cloud behavior. This is a big bottleneck in improving the accuracy of climate models. They're just now moving from 100 km to 10 km resolution for short simulations. With exascale they could move to 1 km resolution and build a true cloud-resolving model that can be run on century timescales.

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