Updated: 5/16/2006; 3:17:05 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses


daily link  Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Soaring global warming 'can't be ruled out':  Results from the world's largest climate modeling experiment, reported in Nature.  "The Earth may be much more sensitive to global warming than previously thought, according to the first results from a massive distributed-computing project. The project tested thousands of climate models and found that some produced a world that warmed by a huge 11.5°C when atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations reached the levels expected to be seen later this century. This extreme result is surprising because it lies far outside the 1.4°C to 4.5°C range predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the same CO2-level increase..

"We have anecdotal evidence that people tend to tune their models to be similar to other people's," says David Stainforth, from the University of Oxford, UK. "Nobody wants to have a model that's terribly different, particularly when there are only 8 or 10 in the world," he explains.  Stainforth and his colleagues set up www.climateprediction.net to see what happened when models were not tuned in this way. "

About the calculations: "From Uruguay to Uzbekistan and Sierra Leone to Singapore, 95,000 people from 150 countries are taking part in the climateprediction.net experiment to explore the possible impact of global warming. By downloading free software from www.climateprediction.net on their personal computers, participants run their own unique version of Britain's Met Office climate model.  While their computer is idle, the program runs a climate simulation over days or weeks and automatically reports the results to Oxford University and other collaborating institutions around the world.  Together, the volunteers have simulated more than 4 million model years, donated 8,000 years of computer time and exceeded the processing power of the world's largest supercomputers. The first results of the continuing experiment are reported in the latest edition of the science journal Nature." My computers have been running these models since the project started. Amazing how well-behaved the software has been, running imperceptibly in the background.

  6:00:33 PM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 3:17:05 PM.