A climate prediction experiment that is expected to involve two million people around the world and produce a probable forecast for the 21st century is being launched Friday. Anyone with a personal computer can join the project and will be expected to conduct their own unique version of Britain’s Met Office climate model, simulating several decades of the Earth’s climate at a time.
“EVERYBODY GETS their own model so they can do an interesting bit of research on their PC,” Myles Allen of Oxford University told a British Association science conference Thursday.
The results of the experiment will be sent via the Internet. The simulations will be used to test different model versions, and the results will be collated to predict the 21st-century climate.
“We can’t predict which versions of the model will be any good without running these simulations, and there are far too many for us to run them ourselves,” said Allen.
“Together, participants’ results will give us an overall picture of how much human influence has contributed to recent climate change and the range of possible changes in the future,” he added.
Allen said the program, which can be downloaded from ClimatePrediction.net, can run on a desktop or laptop computer. It is easy to operate and does not slow down other tasks on the computer.
The project, which is billed as the world’s largest climate prediction experiment, is a collaboration between the Met Office and several universities including Oxford and Reading.