Computer Room

NCAR's Scientific Computing Division holds some of the fastest supercomputers in the country. These are kept safe in a temperature-controlled room whose front wall of glass allows our visitors to see into the room. NCAR is one of few science/educational institutions in the country to be able to provide some of the fastest computers available to its researcher-users through funding from the National Science Foundation, our federal sponsor.

Currently, NCAR’s most powerful computer used by climate researchers is an IBM RS6000 parallel processor computer, which has a peak speed of 4 teraflops—or 4 trillion—mathematical calculations per second. Considering that the complex climate models that scientists use to study global climate scenarios take weeks or months to run to completion, without such computers this work could not be completed.

Extensive information can be learned about many aspects of NCAR’s computer operations by accessing the Scientific Computing Division’s website at:

To learn more about SCD’s state-of-the-art computer animations (they call them "scientific visualizations") of several of important computer models, go to (Our scientists are able to view these images at NCAR in stereo or 3-D; although the website cannot provide that opportunity, the images will prove striking, nevertheless.)