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Image: Users map. is a distributed computing project to produce predictions of the Earth’s climate up to 2100 and to test the accuracy of climate models.

To do this, the project asks volunteers around the world to give time on their computers, using BOINC software, which is also used by other projects, such as SETI. has harnessed more computing power and generated more data than any other climate modelling project to date.

The intention is to run hundreds of thousands of state-of-the-art climate models with slightly different physics in order to represent the whole range of uncertainties in all the parameterizations. This technique, known as ensemble forecasting, requires an enormous amount of computing power, far beyond the currently available resources of cutting-edge supercomputers.

The only practical solution is to appeal to distributed computing which combines the power of thousands of ordinary computers, each computer tackling one small but key part of the global problem. Hopefully, the experiment will give decision makers a better scientific basis for addressing one of the biggest potential global problems of the 21st century.

Update March 2020: Seti@home released a statement that it would suspend operations as from the 31st of March, 2020. You can read more about why this happened and learn about 5 other alternatives here.

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