ClimatePrediction.net is a public distributed computing
project. The aim of ClimatePrediction.net is to investigate the approximations that have to be made in state-of-the-art climate models
. Once installed, the ClimatePrediction.net BOINC client
uses the unused computing power of an idle personal computer.
By running the United Kingdom Meteorological
Office's Unified Climate Model thousands of times, ClimatePrediction.net hopes to find out how the model responds to slight tweaks to these approximations - slight enough to not make the approximations any less realistic. This will allow climatologists
to improve our understanding of how sensitive the climate models are to small changes and also to things like changes in carbon dioxide
and the sulfur
cycle. This will allow us to explore how climate may change in the next century under a wide range of different scenarios. In the past estimates of climate change have had to be made using one or, at best, a very small amount of model runs. By using volunteer idle computing time, ClimatePrediction.net will be able to improve our understanding of, and confidence in, climate change predictions more than would ever be possible using the supercomputers currently available to scientists.
The ClimatePrediction.net experiment should help to improve methods to quantify uncertainties of climate projections and scenarios, including long-term ensemble simulations using complex models, identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001 as a high priority. Hopefully, the experiment will give world leaders a better scientific basis for addressing one of the biggest potential global problems of the 21st century. The results from ClimatePrediction.net experiment will be fed into the work of the Quantifying Uncertainty in Model Predictions (QUMP) team at the UK Meteorological Office and will form part of the UK contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC.
The project currently supports three operating systems