If you’ve seen the movie An Inconvenient Truth, or watched Ted talks by James Hansen, Rachel Pike, or James Balog, you’ll know that discussions about climate change involve a lot of data, and that our understanding of the Earth’s climate is constantly evolving. That’s because there are hundreds of parameters to consider when doing any kind of climate modelling, and tens of thousands of data points to crunch through.
You can help refine our predictions, even if you’re not a trained climatologist; indeed, you don’t even need to be any good at gauging the chance of rain. You can simply download the BOINC client on to your computer, and configure it to process data from ClimatePrediction.net.
Climateprediction.net is a distributed computing project to produce predictions of the Earth’s climate up to the year 2100. When you’ve got your computer on, it will run several computational experiments in the background and then upload the results to the main server. The experiments inlclude a study of the possible effects of a slowdown of the North Atlantic meridional, identifying the effects of sulphate aerosol, and even a look back at climate models of the last millennium, including the “Medieval warm period” and the “little ice age.”
If you need a break from whatever you’re doing on the computer, you can bring the BOINC client to the foreground and watch the weather patterns on your, unique, version of the world evolve.