I Guess It's Better than the SETI Stuff We Geeks Did...

Jamais over at WorldChanging has a post on a massive computer project, similar to the old SETI project (yes, it's still going...same folks (BOINC) behind both projects) that has screensave-crunched a lot of data looking for an alien signal.  The BBC/Climateprediction.net screensaver though uses all of this microcomputer power to crunch simulations/models on pieces of climate change data.

Pretty interesting, and probably a better use of computer power than the looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, eh?

It would be interesting to have the same kind of project on the prediction of future oil production!
I have this running on my not particularly powerful laptop. It certainly seems a worthwhile thing to do. Just a caution, it increases boot up time and noticeably increases the time to come back from snoozing on screensaver. I can only surmise that left alone it gets stuck in to some enormous calculation and when you ask it to give you some processor time it has to crunch to a point where it can ease off. Small price to pay for helping a worthwhile project.
BOINC is part of my self-justification for purchasing a dual core Athlon.
Another distributed computing project involved modeling the distribution of species using a combination of geographic point data extracted from museum collections plus overlays of environmental parameters:


This portion of the project is now on hold or being scrapped, but it was fun to have my screensaver map the known locations of species on the planet and then overlay maps of climate, etc.  

i have mine set up to share 50/50 with seti and the climate prediction.
so far my total credits are
Seti: 11,620.86
climate prediction: 7,069.91
I downloaded it too; what are the credits good for, anyway? (I've not bothered to read through all the info.) And how do you set up to partition resources for it and SETI 50-50?
you have to go to each project's website and edit your prefrences then set your client to run always before clicking the update button for each project. aftwards you can set it to go back to running based on your prefrences. for some odd reason the client won't update prefrences unless it's actualy running at that moment..

while your at it you should also change the amount of disk space the climate perdiction project can use too. unles you like it useing several gigs.

Pretty interesting, and probably a better use of computer power than the looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, eh?

Put "nonexistent" in front of proverbial and you've got it exactly right.

Ran climatechange on a couple of computers for a year when it went public but gave up a while ago. The simulations and graphics were fun, but the idea that they will help improve decisions seems unsupportable and the board was dominated by a few people who didn't much care if anyone else understood or cared about the discussion.  
climateprediction.net appears to be busy, try http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/hottopics/climatechange/ if you are interested in "saving the planet".

If you want to earn "credits" then there are a few projects that pay money for computer time, https:/peer.gomez.com is one.

Credits in all BOINC projects are for bragging rights only and have no monetary value.  Personally I thinks that's silly and only contirbute my computer's time for the science.
Go to www.climateaudit.org/?p=531 to see the flaws in this project e.g. the modelling simulates what would happen to the atmosphere if the CO2 content were instantaneously doubled..............