Fight climate change through your computer

Here in the C+ offices we're one of many helping Oxford University to conduct research into predict

By Ellie Parsons

Here in the C+ offices we're one of many helping Oxford University to conduct research into predicting climate change and you can do it too on your home P.C. (Macs not included).

How? We've downloaded our very own climate model from the BBC website, which is working in conjunction with scientists at Oxford University to get people all over the world taking part in the experiment, which will analyse what the weather is likely to be like in 20 to 30 years time.

Myles Allen, a physicist at Oxford University was responsible for setting up the project and is encouraged by the amount of participation that has resulted: "This is massively more ambitious in terms of computing than anything anyone has ever asked the public to do before, so it's great to see how willing people are to help out. Over the past couple of years I think we have seen a change from people seeing it as a kind of fun political tennis-ball to something we really are going to have to come to terms with at a very practical level," he says.

How the experiment works is by using the power normally wasted when you are not using your P.C. When you sign up you'll see a globe appear when your computer goes to sleep - this is the official model used by the Met Office to predict weather patterns. The cloud formations, colours, representing rainfall and temperature etc, will all change as your computer calculates the climate from 1920-2080. It's fascinating to watch, but don't forget to turn off your computer when you're not using it, as that wastes energy. "160 years will take two to three months on event the fastest personal computers," says Professor Allen.

The findings will be reported on BBC Four later in the summer.

It's very easy and quick to install and does it all automatically, so if you want to take part see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn

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