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Software Science

Simulate "The Day After Tomorrow" On Your PC 285

kpearson writes ", a distributed computing project to predict Earth's climate 50 years from now, has a new add-on project to study THC slowdown (how climate might change as CO2 changes in the event of a decrease in the strength of the thermohaline circulation). This kind of rapid, extreme climate change is shown in the movie The Day After Tomorrow, in which New York City is treated to a 10,000-year-long ski season. Anyone can download the project's client software and participate in the simulation. was previously mentioned in the September 13, 2003 article Distributed Computing and Climate Change." Clients are available for various varieties of Microsoft Windows, but none are listed for other OSes.
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Simulate "The Day After Tomorrow" On Your PC

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @06:37AM (#9181411)
    Although the effects of global warming and specifically the increase in temperature associated iwith rising CO2 levels are often highlighted, the western media seems oblivious to another impending climate disaster which will affect much of southern Africa.

    Because the moon is gradually moving close to the earth, tides are gradually increasing. In most places in the World this effect is negligable, a few centimetres a year at most, however the eccientricity of the moon's orbit added to the factor of the Marianas Trench mean that the effect in Southern Africa is set to be devestating, with tides increasing by up to 20 metres within the next 100 years.

    The countries involved have little or no resources to guard against this and almost no scientific research is being carried out as most climate budget goes towards greenhouse effect studies. Indded the president of Botswana, the country most likely to be affected, recently called on the UN to do more.

  • Foolishness (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Yonkeltron ( 720465 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @06:37AM (#9181412) Homepage
    Lorenze proved that weather was non-deterministic about 40 years ago. It seems foolish to believe we can predict weather to such a degree even with today's technology. I'll be saving my cycles for Seti@Home
  • Strange (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Roland Piquepaille ( 780675 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @06:38AM (#9181413)
    Clients are available for various varieties of Microsoft Windows, but none are listed for other OSes.

    If I was to make a program that basically asks of people to give me something for free (in this case, CPU time, and a little aggravation to install the client), I'd make the Linux/*BSD client a priority, since those OSes have been made almost entirely by people on their own time for free.

    At least I'd know I'd be likely to find a sympathetic hear to whatever cause my client serves in that community.
  • Wine / CrossOver? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cerberusss ( 660701 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @06:40AM (#9181421) Homepage Journal
    Has anyone gotten the client running with Wine [] or CodeWeaver'sCrossOver []? It installs and starts alright, but on the console, a bunch of warnings is printed:
    CLOSE: WARNING: Unit 60 Not Opened
    CLOSE: WARNING: Unit 62 Not Opened
    CLOSE: WARNING: Unit 63 Not Opened
    CLOSE: WARNING: Unit 64 Not Opened
    CLOSE: WARNING: Unit 65 Not Opened
    CLOSE: WARNING: Unit 66 Not Opened
    CLOSE: WARNING: Unit 67 Not Opened
    It doesn't seem to continue further...
  • Who Cares? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by essreenim ( 647659 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @06:49AM (#9181467)
    I'm sick of these movies focusing as if its the greatest city in the world or something. They expect ppl of the world to flock to the cinema to see a post apoalyptic New York which is actually primarily being caused by Americans ..! I would have more emotion in my heart if it were London or Paris or somewhere. ps. I'm Irish
  • Re:GIGO? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pe1rxq ( 141710 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @06:51AM (#9181479) Homepage Journal
    The input is totally different if you are doing climate predictions than for weather.....
    For predicting the climate in 50 years it is not necessarry to known for each day if it rained in your back yard.

  • Re:Foolishness (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gowen ( 141411 ) <> on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @07:10AM (#9181544) Homepage Journal
    Lorenz proved that weather was non-deterministic about 40 years ago.
    But Lorenz, being much, much, much smarter than you, appreciated that weather is not climate.
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @07:20AM (#9181577) Homepage Journal
    The new form of anthropocentrism displaces the paternal role of God into systems: whether it be the Market or the Biosphere or Climate. If so, these are blind, impersonal gods that follow their own agenda: they even aware of our existence, much less are they working for our benefit.

    Systems do have negative feedback behavior, which create short term stability, but they also have positive feedback behavior which can create rapid shifts and oscillations. We should be aware of this and act accordingly. While its fairly clear that people are sufficiently adaptible that they will survive practicaly anything, our culture, economic systems and populations can in fact go extinct very easily.

    Inevitably, climate will shift without anthropogenic help. The real question is whether anthropogenic factors can tip it earlier than it would otherwise? If so, then it would be wise to buy time. If not, then we should make hay while the sun shines and store it away to carry us in lean times.
  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @07:23AM (#9181591)
    You're noticing that the film was made as if it were for an American audience. Perhaps it was.

    It's an "Election Year" in the USA, and perhaps the movie is part of an attempt to create a media frenzy surrounding an issue (the environment) on which our sitting president is politically very vulnerable. It may all just be a bunch of propaganda.

    At least one billionaire (George Soros) has positively committed himself toward the goal of unseating President Bush in the upcoming election. Expect things to get very wierd in the coming months.
  • thats great (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @07:40AM (#9181646)

    corrupt a genuine (or was) science projects reputation to promote a fly-by-night film, shows how low Advertising can get really when they get this desperate, but then again we are used to watching "Making of ____ movie" on TV which are really 25min commercials thinly disguised as a "documentary" so i guess we can look at science in the same light now,

    is it science or is it an advert ?, you decide !

  • by Snaller ( 147050 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @07:59AM (#9181743) Journal
    ... and totally unbelieveable according to Bjørn Lomborg [] (Whom you should know if you pay any kind of attention to world affairs)
  • by richie2000 ( 159732 ) <> on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @08:07AM (#9181801) Homepage Journal
    The ultimate goal of all this kookiness is impeding US industry and prosperity

    Why so narrow-minded? It impedes ALL industry and prosperity. No one targets the US specifically. Oh, I totally agree that the current set of narrow regulations are counter-productive (to put it mildly). One such example local to me is Swedish energy industry buying coal-generated electricity from Poland to make up for the lower emission standards imposed on the Swedish (much cleaner) power plants. That's why we need a level playing field and the EU-wide emission rights market is a step in the right direction (properly implemented, that is).

    However, looking at eco-friendlyness in the industry as an inherently bad thing is also counter-productive. Instead, it should be seen as an opportunity to modernize the industry - using the technical advantage that the 3rd world countries do not have. Work smarter to keep ahead. Digging for coal and burning it is going to be cheaper in Poland, Belarus, Mexico, Nicarague or where ever anyway and the trick is to not compete with that. Compete with high-tech instead. They can't keep up with that. Look at the major oil companies, they are shifting from simply pumping oil to being diversified energy producers. They are going with the flow in ways that Joe Q. Public hasn't yet realized they even could. They've been taught, time and time again, that they have to be quick or be dead. The governments of the world have to realize that, too.

    It's like when Star Wars broke the Soviet Union - for years the US military tried to out-perform the Red Army and Strategic Rocket Forces on their home turf and failing miserably. Not until they turned the tables on the Reds and went in a different direction where the Soviets couldn't follow did they win the Cold War. The basic economic realities of the brewing eco-war are the same.

    The facts are that the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are way higher now than they were a hundred years ago. The atmosphere is also warming at a rate unheard of since we started measuring these things and at a rate not found in any ice samples from the last several hundred thousand years. Large chunks of very old ice is melting in Antarctica and there are island nations that will soon cease to exist due to rising ocean waters.

    Can we afford to ignore the possibility of a causal link? I believe we can't.

    I'm not saying we should go back to dwelling in caves in Eden, that's a pathetic strawman argument. I'm just saying that we should put some thought into fixing emissions in a smart way, a way that will keep our scientists at the forefront of innovation, that will keep our industries competitive and that will preserve our way of life and preferably enable more people to share it.

  • by Paulrothrock ( 685079 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @09:16AM (#9182445) Homepage Journal
    The planet isn't going away. We are.
    Do disrespect to Mr. Carlin, but I don't want to go away. I realize the planet will be fine without us, but I also realize I don't want us to die out.
  • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Tuesday May 18, 2004 @09:24AM (#9182546) Journal
    There are several indicators that Earth did not have a massive carbon dioxide atmosphere, as well as that oil and natural gas are from virgin carbon and not recycled.

    • There were not increasingly greater deposits of carbonate rocks created further back in time.
    • Carbon isotope ratios have not become altered due to recycling.
    • Carbon is being removed from the atmosphere at a rate which would remove all carbon dioxide in 500,000 years. Plants haven't all died off over millions of years, so either new carbon is being released or we are quite unlucky to be on a planet soon dead.
    • Natural gas, oil, and coal are found together with the thicker materials usually being closer to the surface. If coal and oil are from separate origins they should be likely to appear in isolated deposits and at any depth.

    The Origin of Methane (and Oil) in the Crust of the Earth []

    And that our climate models are wrong is a given. If our models are right, why are these researchers adding, and trying, new factors? Because we don't understand climate well enough to have good models.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson