Navigation Links
OSU, Oxford, others launch citizen scientist climate modeling initiative
Date:11/17/2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. An international group of scientists from the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States is collaborating on a fascinating new climate modeling initiative using the idle computers of thousands of citizens to create a network of digital power that surpasses that of the best supercomputers.

Oxford University launched the initial effort in 2003 and its "climateprediction.net" project has used hundreds of volunteers to test climate simulation models. Now that effort is expanding to look at regional, as well as global climate modeling, specifically in southern Africa, Europe and the western United States, and broadening the scope of its volunteers.

Oregon State University is leading the effort on the western U.S. portion of the study, building on initial work done at the University of Washington. Pennsylvania State University has joined with the University of Cape Town to look at South African climate.

The rationale, scientists say, is simple.

"In less than two months, we can run 40,000 different year-long climate simulation models with our network of volunteers," said Philip Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at OSU and one of the principal investigators on the project. "A dedicated supercomputer, during that time, could simulate a couple hundred years worth of data.

"It's exciting that both climate modeling and computer technology have advanced to the point that people at home can contribute to the effort to study climate change," he added.

Microsoft Research provided initial funding for the West Coast portion of the project; additional support for the research has come from the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon and Washington, the California Energy Commission, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

"By bringing together citizen volunteers, public institutions, and private corporations across three continents, the Climateprediction.net 'Weather at Home' project is a great example of the types of public-private partnerships necessary to address today's important issues," said Tony Hey, vice president for External Research, a division of Microsoft Research.

Volunteers can sign up for the project at: http://www.weatherathome.net/ and learn more about the initiative. Mote said participants can download units onto their computer and run the simulations when their computer is on, but idle. "It's like a screensaver," he pointed out.

It takes about a week to run a year-long unit of climate data and the program will automatically send finished results back to the scientists each month.

Project leaders hope creating a large network of volunteers will give them the computing power to run regional climate models that can test the efficacy of different models and determine what impacts that subtle changes may have on climate. In these regional studies, the models will be on a much finer scale than on the global climate models, and explore even more variables such as winds, cloud cover and humidity.

"This is not about simulating the weather and trying to predict storms more accurately," Mote said. "This is about looking at the complexity of climate and trying to determine which things could change and where, and how confident we are in the changes."

One major experiment involves testing different formulations of the regional climate model to simulate conditions from 1960 to 2010 and using real sea surface temperatures and measurements of sea ice, atmospheric greenhouse gases and aerosols (cloud formation) to compare those models with recorded observations a process that will help fine-tune future climate models.

Other experiments include:

  • Producing a forecast of changes in regional weather events in the 2020s and 2030s, including the likelihood of drought, flood and extreme heat or cold;
  • Analyzing changes in climate over the past 50 years in an effort to determine what changes can be attributed to human interference in the climate system;
  • Forecasting potential implications of two-, three- and four-degree increases in global temperatures toward the end of the century;

Mote and colleagues at the University of Washington helped design the regional experiments for the western United States that will get down to a scale as small as 15 miles.

"The results will help better inform government, business leaders and resource managers about the specifics of climate so they can take appropriate steps in dealing with potential changes," Mote said. "Our citizenry will be affected by changes in climate; here is their chance to help describe and plan for the future."


'/>"/>

Contact: Philip Mote
pmote@coas.oregonstate.edu
541-913-2274
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Men with wives, significant others more likely to be screened for prostate cancer
2. Vitamin D deficiency in infants and nursing mothers carries long-term disease risks
3. Mothers pass on disease clues to offspring
4. Facebook flack regarding breastfeeding mothers
5. Older killer whales make the best mothers
6. Mothers of multiple births at increased odds of postpartum depression
7. Mothers give interlopers offspring a head start in life
8. Babies born to native high-altitude mothers have decreased risk of low birth weight
9. Nitrogen research shows how some plants invade, take over others
10. Female choice benefits mothers more than offspring
11. Despite risk, older African-Americans more likely than others to avoid flu vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016: ... up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% ... 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M ... revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome ... in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The ... to advance its drug development efforts, as well as ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to ... traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint ... new biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed ... co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We have ... us with the capital we need to meet our ... will essentially provide us the runway to complete validation ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division of Morris Group, ... exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing Technology Show, IMTS, ... companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and distribution, Velocity SMART ...
Breaking Biology Technology: