How California’s wildfires took down a supercomputer
NERSC tells us about shutting down Cori
January 17, 2020
As California’s forests glowed, lights at NERSC began to switch off.
For the second time in as many weeks, one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers was carefully being shut down.
Climate change, once an abstraction being dispassionately simulated on the 30 petaflops Cori system, had manifested into reality.
The machine, a pinnacle creation of mankind - a species that prioritized rapid progress over sustainable development - had been waylaid by the impact of that progress on the world.
Like the families that prepared to flee California’s suburbs, Cori could do nothing to stop the effects of anthropogenic climate change. It was truly powerless.