CWmike writes "Scientists have embarked on a crash effort to use one the world's largest supercomputers to create 3-D models to simulate how BP's massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill will affect coastal areas. Acting within 24 hours of receiving a request from researchers, the National Science Foundation late last week made an emergency allocation of 1 million compute hours on a supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center to study how BP's gusher will affect coastlines. The computer model they are working on 'has the potential to advise and undergird many emergency management decisions that may be made along the way, particularly if a hurricane comes through the area,' said Rick Luettich, a professor of marine sciences and head of the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, who is one of the researchers on this project. Meanwhile, geographic information systems vendor ESRI has added a social spin to GIS mapping of the BP oil spill."
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