New supercomputer aids climate research in top coal state

By: MEAD GRUVER, Associated Press
February 17, 2017 Updated: February 17, 2017 at 11:11 am
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photo - This Oct. 26, 2016 photo provided by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research shows the new supercomputer named Cheyenne at the National Center for Atmospheric Research at the supercomputing center in Cheyenne, Wyo. Wyoming officials including Gov. Matt Mead say they support the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center even as they describe themselves as climate skeptics. Scientists nationwide are nonetheless concerned that President Donald Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, might not take climate change research seriously. (Carlye Calvin/ University Corporation for Atmospheric Research via AP)
This Oct. 26, 2016 photo provided by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research shows the new supercomputer named Cheyenne at the National Center for Atmospheric Research at the supercomputing center in Cheyenne, Wyo. Wyoming officials including Gov. Matt Mead say they support the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center even as they describe themselves as climate skeptics. Scientists nationwide are nonetheless concerned that President Donald Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, might not take climate change research seriously. (Carlye Calvin/ University Corporation for Atmospheric Research via AP) 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A new supercomputer in Wyoming is carrying on modeling the effects of climate change, but scientists worry President Donald Trump could cut funding for such programs.

The $30 million National Center for Atmospheric Research supercomputer named Cheyenne got to work on several science projects a few weeks ago. They include figuring out how to better predict weather months to years in advance.

Wyoming produces close to 40 percent of the nation's coal, and the state's many climate-change skeptics include Gov. Matt Mead. Still, Mead supports the supercomputer for helping to promote Wyoming's small technology industry.

Whether Trump might cut federal funding for such programs remains to be seen. Some 800 U.S. scientists recently signed a letter urging Trump to take climate change seriously.

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.

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