World’s biggest climate simulation launched today

The Science Museum in London is the scene for today&#39s launch of ClimatePrediction.net, the world&#39s largest climate prediction experiment . The experiment, using thousands of personal computers to run different facets of a highly complex simulation, has been developed by a large team including the Oxford University Department of Atmospheric Physics, The University of Reading, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, The Met Office, and the Open University&#39s Department of Earth Sciences and Knowledge Media Institute.

KMi is developing a &#39semantic sensemaking and community presence portal&#39 for the project, while the Department of Earth Sciences, under the direction of Prof. Bob Spcier, is creating a related custom course (S199) about Climate Science and modelling.

Today&#39s official Open University press release about the launch begins as follows (full links below):

“If you want to book a summer holiday for the year 2040 but aren’t sure what the weather will be like, you could be involved in forecasting it.

“The world’s largest experiment on climate prediction is looking for two million people and their computers to be a part of looking at the weather for the next 50 years.

“The Open University is a part of this world’s largest climate prediction experiment that will be launched at the Science Museum in London and at the BA Festival of Science in Salford on Friday, 12 September, 2003. Computer users anywhere in the world can participate by downloading a global climate model from www.climateprediction.net.

“Professor Bob Spicer, from the Earth Sciences Department at the Open University, said: &#39This is really do-it-yourself science that anyone can become involved in&#39.

“This collaboration between the Universities of Oxford and Reading, the Met Office, The Open University, the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and Tessella Support Services plc will use the combined power of participants’ personal computers to generate the world’s most comprehensive probability-based forecast of twenty-first -century climate.
Each participant in the experiment runs their own unique version of the Met Office’s state-of-the-art climate model, simulating several decades of the Earth’s climate at a time. The model runs as a background process on ordinary desktop computers and will not affect other computing tasks. At the end of the experiment results are sent back via the Internet. Simulations of present climate and past changes will be used to test different model versions and the most realistic will be used to predict the climate of the twenty-first century.”

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