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Climate

On August 26th, the Climateprediction.net project will begin using the BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) software platform, developed by scientists at the University of California in Berkeley.

Climateprediction.net, with 62,000 participants in 130 countries, is the world's largest climate modelling experiment. Its goal is to try and find the range of possible climate change in the 21st century. "We've been involved with Climateprediction.net from the start. It's the perfect application for public distributed computing" said Dr. David Anderson, Director of the SETI@home and BOINC projects, "Now, using BOINC, participants won't have to choose between looking for signs of extra-terrestrial life, investigating how proteins form or helping predict the climate of the 21st century; they'll be able to allocate computer time to each project."

Dr. Dave Frame, Climateprediction.net project coordinator, added "Given the size and duration of the computing task, the amount of data involved and the fact that all our data is actually generated on participants' computers, Climateprediction.net is an ambitious new application of distributed computing. Working with BOINC has allowed us to tap into SETI@home's vast experience, helping us to meet these considerable challenges."

Anyone can download the BOINC software from www.climateprediction.net which then installs the Met Office's state-of-the-art climate model. Each model is a slightly different, but physically plausible, representation of processes going on in the atmosphere, land and ocean. The model runs for a few weeks without affecting other computing tasks. Results are sent back to project scientists via the Internet.

Prof. Jim Hansen of the Massachussets Institute of Technology commented "quantifying the level of uncertainty associated with forecasts of climate change is crucial both for improving climate forecasts and for understanding the climate system better. Climateprediction.net provides a unique opportunity for people to get involved with cutting-edge scientific research while learning about how the earth's climate works."

"There is no way we could complete an experiment this size even using traditional supercomputers" said Carl Christensen, the project's chief software architect. "The project has really captured the world's imagination; anyone with a Mac, Linux or Windows computer can join in."

For further information please contact the project's Press Officer, Dr. Sylvia Knight on +44 (0)1865 272887 or sknight@atm.ox.ac.uk. Dr. Dave Frame and Dr. David Anderson will be in Berkeley for the launch and can be contacted on 510 642-4921.

Notes to editors:

  • Anyone wishing to take part can download the necessary software from www.climateprediction.net, where further information about the project is available.
  • Further information for the Press, including high resolution colour images are available at www.climateprediction.net/press/index.php .
  • Climateprediction.net is a collaboration between several UK Universities and The Met Office, led by the University of Oxford and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and by the Department of Trade and Industry's e-Science programme.
  • More information about the SETI@home project can be found at http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/
  • More information about the BOINC platform can be found at http://boinc.berkeley.edu/
Information regarding the participating institutions can be found on the Internet at:

University of Oxford, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics: www.atm.ox.ac.uk University of Oxford, Computing Laboratory: www.comlab.ox.ac.uk Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, British Atmospheric Data Centre: www.badc.rl.ac.uk The Open University, Knowledge Media Institute: kmi.open.ac.uk The Open University, Earth Sciences Department: www.open.ac.uk/Earth-Sciences The Met Office: www.met-office.gov.uk/ The University of Reading, Department of Meteorology: www.met.rdg.ac.uk Tessella Support Services plc: www.tessella.com

BADC Support 26th August 2004

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