The MScSUS Students Visit the Barcelona Supercomputing Center

MScSUS at Barcelona Supercomputing Center
The MScSUS students with the powerful Mare Nostrum computer at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. / Photo: Ilija Sazdovski

The researcher at the ESCI-UPF’s UNESCO Chair and professor Ilija Sazdovski sums up the visit the students of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management did at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center to understand how climate modelling and predictions are made. This master’s degree is jointly offered by ESCI-UPF and UPF-BSM.

On November 24th, students enrolled in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management embarked on a valuable experiential learning opportunity in the course ‘Climate Change: Facts, Emergency, Political and Legal Context.’ Their destination was the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), where they delved into the intricate realm of climate modelling and predictions. The purpose of the visit was to enhance their comprehension of the scientific intricacies behind climate phenomena and to explore the development of effective climate services.

Climate modelling plays a pivotal role in understanding and addressing the complexities of our changing environment. By simulating Earth’s climate system, scientists can predict future trends, informing crucial decisions for sustainable development. Accurate climate predictions are vital for adapting to rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and sea-level changes.

Designing appropriate climate services based on these models is essential for mitigating the impacts on vulnerable communities, agriculture, and infrastructure. These services enable governments, businesses, and communities to make informed decisions, ranging from disaster preparedness to long-term planning. As we grapple with the consequences of climate change, investing in robust climate modelling, accurate prediction, and tailored services becomes imperative for fostering resilience and devising effective strategies to protect our planet and its inhabitants.

The students were hosted by Eneko Martin Martinez, Andria Nicodemou and Dr Dragana Bojovic from BSC.

Eneko Martin works on the mechanisms controlling deep water formation in the North Atlantic and its implications for global ocean circulation. He presented the complexity of Earth system modelling and how it allows us to attribute the changes we observe to different events. Thanks to this, climate scientists have shown that the global warming of the last decades is a response to the greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. He stressed the importance of climate models for understanding and predicting future risks. He also mentioned how the continuous development of these models allows for more accurate predictions and projections.

Dr Bojovic centred her lecture on the vital concepts of transdisciplinarity and knowledge coproduction in the context of climate change adaptation, emphasizing their crucial role in formulating effective climate services. Beyond theoretical considerations, the session showcased various sectoral approaches, featuring insights from the wine and energy sectors. Additionally, specific climate services designed for the Arctic region in Finland andThe  tailored services for Malawi and Tanzania were presented.

Ms Nicodemou complemented Dr Bojovic’s insights by underscoring the significance of knowledge integration and scientific communication in the strategic development of climate services. The collaborative effort shed light on the practical applications of these concepts.

To facilitate the development of suitable climate models, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) houses Mare Nostrum, Spain’s most emblematic and powerful supercomputer. A brief tour was arranged for the students to witness firsthand the intricacies of cutting-edge technology underpinning the latest scientific research.

Our sincere gratitude extends to our hosts, who generously shared their expertise and time, significantly enhancing our students’ knowledge base.

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