Internet users are being asked to take part in an experiment to assess global climate change.
Climatologists have written a program similar to the [email protected] star-watching project that combines the power of multiple home computers to simulate 100 years of weather patterns.
The climateprediction.com project aims to refine predictions about global warming and its effect on climate and look at potential outcomes.
The software will be ready later in the summer and requires eight months of commitment to let the model run.
Dave Frame, a climateprediction.com developer, and researcher at Oxford University's Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, said that the system differed from the the [email protected] project in that the data was actually generated on a user's PC rather than being analysed from a central source.
Each participant's simulation will use slightly different starting conditions, and the unpredictable nature of weather patterns means that they could generate very different end results.
The project will analyse the years 1950 to 2050, and needs between 20,000 and two million participants.
The simulation will be interactive and will let people fly around their programmed planet and watch how weather patterns change.
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