Came across your forums whilst browsing and thought I would introduce myself and my team; Phoenix Rising. We are a group of individuals who undertake free distributed computing, analysing scientific data for universities and research establishments who do not have sufficient in-house computing power.
Currently we are working on projects as diverse as future climate prediction, the mapping of species spread and environmental distribution, protein folding, assisting with calibration of the particle accelerator at Cern and even sifting through astronomical data looking for potential signals from extra terrestrial intelligence.

All these programmes run in background mode on our computers, which usually have way too much power for programmes such as word processing, browsing the web etc. Consequently the CPU sits idle most of the time it is switched on. The programmes efficiently use these spare cycles at low priority, backing off whenever your computer needs the CPU cycles for other jobs

I guess the project of most interest to yourselves here is Climate Prediction. This is an attempt by Oxford University to improve the reliability of predicting the effect of greenhouse gasses on global temperatures and precipitation. The expectation is to have produced the world's most complete probabilistic climate forecast for the next century. The final results may well add considerable value to the ecological arguments and reasoning for the control of greenhouse gas emissions.

Experiment 1, currently running is a calibration test for surface conditions and parameters. The 5000 contributors have, to date, completed over 50,000 runs of the model, each with different starting conditions and parameters. The model runs 3 phases, a calibration stage from 1810 to 1825, a pre-industrial phase 1825 to 1840 and a double CO2 prediction from 2050-2065.

Experiment 2, starting 2005, will couple ocean and surface conditions allowing the ocean temperatures to respond to surface and air temperature.

Finally experiment 3, will add further complexity such as volcanic activity, greenhouse gas emissions and solar activity to the model.

OK so how can you contribute and what do you need. Well firstly a computer with an internet connection but I?m guessing that being here, you?ve got that already. So now all you need to do is read more about the climate prediction experiment here , register here <here>, download the software and go get your first set of data for analysis. Thereafter everything happens more or less automatically.

What does it cost ? nothing providing you don?t leave your PC on just to process data. --- Now there?s a thing and a warning. This distributed computing thing can get quite addictive and competitive. You get points for each work unit crunched and the DC sites all have league tables etc. There?s a bit of friendly rivalry to see who can crunch the most work both between individuals and teams.

Guess that?s why I?m posting here. Should you decide to give it a go I would encourage you to join our team here and visit our forums here if you have any questions or need support in getting things running.