The BBC Climate Change Experiment hopes to predict the future climate of our planet by harnessing the power of distributed computing (remember SETI@Home). You can join in by downloading a small program that will connect your computer to the experiment. The application doubles as a screensaver, and uses your computer's excess processing power to crunch away at the Met Office climate model .
An open source platform for distributed computing called Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is being used to run the experiment. Developed specifically for individuals to donate their computing power to scientific projects, BOINC harnesses processing power that would otherwise be wasted. The more people who participate in the experiment, the more complete predictions about the future climate will be.More Specifics After the Jump
But be wary, these are not simple calculations. The system is not recommended for laptops, as processors may overheat, and it requires about 600 megs of harddrive space. Also, it will only run under XP and Linux, sorry Mac users. That's not stopping me though, I'm contributing to "The largest climate change experiment in the world" (along with 160,000 other people) as a type this, and my computer is not running noticeably slower. Behold the power of the EcoGeek.
Note: while the processing power is necessary for the project, the screensaver is not and, while it's cool, monitors generally consume more power than the entire rest of the computer. So you can spend some time viewing the screensaver, but don't let it run all day or anything, or your global warming calculations will, sadly, be needlessly contributing to global warming.
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