dcblogs writes: The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has begun has begun using a 1.5 petaflop IBM system, called Yellowstone. For NCAR researchers it is an enormous leap in compute capability — a roughly 30 times improvement over its existing 77 teraflop supercomputer. Yellowstone is a 1,500 teraflops system capable of 1.5 quadrillion calculations per second using 72,288 Intel Xeon cores. The supercomputer gives researchers new capabilities. They can run more experiments with increased complexity and at a higher resolution. This new system may be able to reduce resolution to as much as 10 km (6.2 miles), giving scientists the ability to examine climate impacts in greater detail. Increase complexity allows researchers to add more conditions to their models, such as methane gas released from thawing tundra on polar sea ice. NCAR believes it is the world's most powerful computer dedicated to geosciences.