Tech Ramblings…

By Dr. T

My BOINC predicts weather, do you have a BOINC…

Is the world spinning out of control around us or what. Hurricane frequency on the rise on the Atlantic, tsunami triggering earthquakes, and now the latest, early summer in Europe. Climatologists say its a regular cycle that repeats itself over hundreds of years (typical in loops of every 30 yrs), while global warming experts blame the CFCs and other industrial grade pollutants. Whatever the reason, the climate shift is taking place again. This may come as a cooling effect for some countries, while for others may face the brunt of the heat, hurricanes and monsoons.

I thought it’d be interesting to re-visit my contributions to the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project. And in the process, “” look at other BOINC (Berkeley Open Initiative Network Computing) projects. I dug up a project by the name of Climate Prediction undertaken by BBC related to predicting wather patterns (the largest weather prediction project ever done in the history of the planet). I added myself to the project team and have already started contributing to the number and data crunching through offering my computers idle time (which was otherwise taken over by the screen saver).

What do I get in return, a cool screen saver and bragging rights that I am part of the largest initiative taken to help discover, learn and monitor global weather shifts. In my initial week of number crunching and data analyssis, this is what my client BOINC reported…

Developing economies of Asia (China, India, Pakistan specifically) are fast deploying Industrial units. Most of them (unique to the area) are contributing more SO2 in the air which is a good thing. Now this may come as a surprise to many, but its creating a ‘global cooling’ effect in these regions. Let me explain how this works and how its the opposite of global warming.

SO2 is responsible for creathing thicker cloud formations. These cloud formations repel the suns harmsful radiations while allowing the still needed rays of the sun for earth. This creates a cooling effect. More over, due to larger and denser cloud formations, a redistribution of temperature and pressure occurs above and below the clouds. This change in temperature and pressure is helping to create light breeze, rain, and pleasant weather. However, there is the other side of the coin. Drastic changes in atmospheric pressures mean this area will also become prone to hurricanes, tornadoes and violent and unpredictable weather.

In short, the current changes we see in South Asia’s weather is the result and is quite unique to this region. Resulting in shorter heat spells in otherwise hot areas of Multan, Jacobabad, Hyderabad, and increasing rain fall during Monsoon seasons specific to areas such as Karachi, Bombay, all the way to Dhaka. I havent studied the weather patterns of other areas so I cant comment on them. But if you’re interested, you can download BOINC client software and become part of the project. Here are the results of areas I’m currently studied:


This isnt much since the work is only 3 percent complete on the model. But it shows the primary weather at present in these areas of South Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh). The red colors show higher temperatures while the bluer the color gets, the cooler the region is getting. This initial result is supplemented by the SO2 readings on the Climate Prediction (dot) net website. Here are their results:



September 2, 2006 - Posted by | Earth Bio-Sciences and SETI

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