New climate prediction experiment
12 September 2003
The Met Office's world renowned climate prediction model will soon be used by internet surfers around the world as part of new international climate experiment, climateprediction.net. Launched today (Sept 12) at the London Science Museum and the BA Festival of Science in Salford, is an innovative project which aims to allow computer users anywhere in the world to participate in climate prediction work.
Climateprediction.net is a collaboration between the Met Office, the Universities of Oxford and Reading, the Open University, the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Tessella Support Services plc. It works by allowing each user to download their own unique copy of a specially tailored version of the Met Office's global climate model and run it on their own PC. The user can see the signal of climate change unfolding in their model and, when the experiment is completed, the information will be fed back to the team for analysis.
Mat Collins, Met Office climate scientist, has been working on the project for almost four years: "This experiment will give us the most comprehensive assessment of future climate change. At the Met Office's Hadley Centre we can only perform a small number of projections of climate change at any one time. climateprediction.net will allow us to run many more of these experiments and give better estimates of uncertainties in climate change to policy makers.
"Those taking part will be contributing to the biggest climate science project ever. We already have more than a thousand people world-wide who have signed up. The more participants we get, the more successful the experiment will be."
Climateprediction.net was the brainchild of Dr Myles Allen at the University of Oxford. He said: "Thanks to chaos theory we can't predict which versions of the model will be any good without running these simulations and there are far too many for us to run them ourselves. Together, participants results will give us an overall picture of how much human influence has contributed to recent climate change and of the range of changes in the future."
Join the climateprediction.net experiment!
What is climateprediction.net?
The climateprediction.net experiment has been developed to allow a state-of-the-art climate prediction model to be run on home/ school/ work computers. By getting data from thousands of climate models, we will generate the world's largest climate prediction experiment.
Climate change, and our response to it, are issues of global importance, affecting food production, water resources, ecosystems, energy demand, insurance costs and much else. There is a broad scientific consensus that the Earth is likely to warm over the coming century, but estimates of how much vary hugely. By taking part in the climateprediction.net experiment you can help to improve scientific forecasts of 21st century climate.
What do we want you to do?
We want you to run a climate model as a background process on your computer (similar to the successful SETI@home project). It should not affect any other tasks you use your computer for. If you choose to download the model, you will be supplied with your own, unique, version of the model. As the model runs, you can watch the weather patterns over the globe evolve. The results are sent back via the internet, and we are developing an interactive portal to allow you to compare your results with other people's as the experiment progresses. The Open University will be offering a short course based on the project, and there will also be opportunities to get schools involved with the project.
to download - http://www.climateprediction.net/download/index.php