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Climate Change Experiment
03/03/2006 posted by Kevin S
So the worlds hotting up, or maybe not. No-one is exactly sure. Now though its
possible for an individual to help try and find out by running your own
climate prediction software on you home PC using spare 'cycles' ( the bits of
processor time on you computer that aren't being used by your web-surfing, email writing etc. )
The climate prediction software is know as distributed computing, since the results are taken from
thousands of computers all over the world, working together to provide more 'Computer Power' that would be possible
from a single Super computer.
Getting going is simple, just visit this website BBC Climate Change,
here it explains everything you need to know about setting up your system to run the experiment.
Typically the whole project runs between 3-9 months in total, but this depends on how fast your
computer is and how much time is dedicated to running the software.
The BOINC software that runs the climate change experiment is easily configurable and can be paused
or stopped at any time if you feel its interferring with your everyday computer usage. This should not
really be a problem because the software is intelligent enough to know when to shutdown and pause
itself if your computer is busy. Also it runs a the lowest priority meaning that your web browser or
whatever will always have priority.
Q. Does it cost more to run ?
A. Not alot, if you only use the computer as you would normally. The CPU will run at 100% all the time,
which may consume more power, but not alot more that normal.
Q. If it takes 9 Months, what if I stop ?
A. The Software is regularily contacting the main Server to pass back data and collect more to work on,
so even partial data is useful.
Q. Do I have to run the climate prediction software all the time ?
A. No, in the traybar there is an icon that you can right click. The project can be halted or suspended from here. Otherwise it runs silently in the background.
Q. How am I doing ?
A. Click the graphics button for a nice 3d World picture showing how your climate model is progressing.
BBC Climate Change Website