Do You Want to Help Climate Science?
Climate change engages a lot of people, especially those of us that actually read the scientific literature on the topic. While spreading the word of science is a very important task, there are probably many of you that would also want to contribute to advance the science itself. Now, there is a fun and good way to do this. And you don’t need to be a scientist yourself.
Modelling climate requires a lot of computing. In order to conduct large simulation projects you need access to one or several supercomputers. The problem is that the fastest supercomputers in the world are not available to many climate scientists (they are busy simulating nuclear weapon detonations).
One way to get the same capacity as supercomputers have is to take advantage of the collective computational power us home PC users possess. By connecting thousands of home PCs together and run models on them very large experiments can be conducted. At climateprediction a group of scientists invite people to carry out pioneering research this way. Currently more than 50.000 volunteers participate! As a comparison, the fastest supercomputer in the world (the Tianhe-1A system at National University of Defense Technology) is built up by approximately 21.000 computers. The project lets researchers explore the uncertainties in global climate predictions in unprecedented depth.
How does it work?
You participate by donating computer time. You do so by downloading their software which contains a climate model. The model will be running in the background (when you want it to) so it will not distract you from debunking perplexed “sceptics” on the internet or keep you from using your computer in any other way. If you like, you can follow the progression of the simulation through a graphics interface.
Installation is easy and it’s good idea to join now because they are in an interesting phase of the project. Most testing and calibration is done and the forecast of the future climate have started.