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A Supercomputer Boosts Efforts in East Africa to Control a Locust Outbreak

The computer, a donation from Britain, uses satellite data to track locust swarms and predict their next destination. Quickly sharing the information of the locusts’ movements with regional authorities is key to controlling the outbreak, as even a small swarm of locusts in a single day can move nearly 100 miles and consume the amount of crops that would otherwise feed 35,000 people. Based in a regional climate center in Kenya, where the insects have been particularly destructive, the supercomputer system “produces extensive weather forecasts to predict the high winds, rainfall, and humidity that provide ideal breeding conditions for locusts so climate experts can predict their next destination,” the U.K.’s Department for International Development said in a statement. “By improving early warning systems we are helping charities and African governments to take rapid action to protect vulnerable communities.”