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

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news