Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


NIWA seeks volunteers for climate science experiment

NIWA seeks volunteers for climate science experiment

A citizen science experiment for weather enthusiasts that participants can undertake from the comfort of home is being launched on Wednesday by NIWA, in collaboration with researchers from the UK and Australia.
Volunteers are now being sought to participate in Weather@home ANZ, a project that will enable members of the public to contribute to scientists’ understanding of how climate change might be affecting weather in New Zealand and Australia.

All you need to take part is a computer and Internet connection.

NIWA climate scientist and Weather@home New Zealand programme leader Dr Suzanne Rosier says the aim of the project initially is to improve understanding of how extreme weather conditions such as heatwaves and drought may be changing.

It works by participants volunteering the spare processing power on their computers to crunch weather data from a state-of-the-art global climate model that includes a finely detailed regional model over Australia and New Zealand.

The results are returned automatically to the project although participants can opt to track progress as the model runs via an interactive graphic.

Dr Rosier says the computing power harnessed in this way from thousands of volunteers is phenomenal.

“It enables scientists to run these global and regional climate models many thousands of times – far more than would be possible with conventional computing resources.

“That is what is needed when attempting to address problems involving extremely rare weather events and enables scientists to put some hard numbers on how the risks of these events might be changing,” Dr Rosier said.

For example, last year’s drought was one of the most extreme of the past 70 years with almost 80 days without rain on average over the North Island – far more than recorded previously.

“Events like last summer’s drought are rare but the frequency of them could be changing. Scientists want to find out how the risks of such events might be changing with human-induced climate change, and the Weather@home experiment enables us to do just that.”

Flooding in Golden Bay and Nelson in December 2011 – and this month’s floods in Christchurch -- can also be better understood via Weather@home ANZ.

Weather@home ANZ is a collaboration among NIWA, the University of Oxford, the UK Met Office, the University of Melbourne and the University of Tasmania, with financial support from Microsoft Research. It is part of theclimateprediction.net project, based in Oxford, which has been running highly successfully for the past 10 years.

In the UK, participants are helping to discover whether this year’s floods are linked to climate change.

The more people who participate, the more science can be done, Dr Rosier said.

If you would like to take part please go to: weatherathome.net or climateprediction.net to register.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half A Billion Accounts: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Payout As Global Supply Shrinks

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the dairy processor which will announce annual earnings tomorrow, hiked its forecast payout to farmers by 50 cents per kilogram of milk solids as global supply continues to decline, helping prop up dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Results:

Meat Trade: Silver Fern Farms Gets Green Light For Shanghai Maling Deal

The government has given the green light for China's Shanghai Maling Aquarius to acquire half of Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand's biggest meat company, with ministers satisfied it will deliver "substantial and identifiable benefit". More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news