Earth Simulator

In 1997 a team of Japanese engineers dared to imagine a computer so powerful that it could keep track of everything in the world at once--steaming rain forests in Bolivia, factories in Mexico belching smoke, the jet stream, the Gulf Stream, the works. What's more, they dared to build it. On March 11, 2002, when they turned it on, the engineers did something no mere mortal had ever done before: they created the Earth.

Or at least the next best thing. The Earth Simulator, the most powerful supercomputer ever built, was designed for a single purpose: to create a virtual...

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