The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is getting a new computer. IBM is sending the Center what is touted as the world's most powerful supercomputer for predicting climate changes that affect agricultural output, heating oil prices, and global warming. Code-named "Blue Sky," the system will be powered by IBM's supercomputer and eServer p690 and will hit speeds of 7 trillion calculations/sec with 31.5 trillion bytes of disk storage.

"Supercomputers play a uniquely powerful role in helping scientists identify important climate trends," explains Surjit Chana, IBM Server Group vice president. NCAR's Blue Sky will help scientists now researching forces impacting the length of growing seasons for agricultural crops, crop-belt migration over time, and the severity of upcoming winter seasons.

Blue Sky is scheduled to debut this fall.