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Linux Powers Climate Research: 400TB of Data and Counting

Nov 09, 2009, 17:33 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Juliet Kemp)

"Climate change is perhaps the biggest issue facing humanity today – but one vital part of the puzzle is to calculate what exactly the future possibilities are. The Millennium Simulations project – now almost a year old – aims to tackle that issue, generating data which will in due course be used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the international scientific body which is generally regarded as the authoritative voice on the effects and risks of climate change. The Millenium Simulations creates models of the earth's climate, looking at the influence of human activity (including carbon generation and changes in land use), together with natural activity such as volcanoes, to project future climatic changes. It's the first model which uses an interactive carbon cycle, and it also has various sub-models available, looking at land, ocean, and atmosphere.

"As you might guess, this project generates a lot of data (over 50TB to date) with repeated runs under various conditions. There are numerous other climate modelling projects out there, as well, all generating large quantities of data which is useful to climate scientists internationally. Dealing with storage of and access to this data is the World Data Center for Climate (WDCC), part of the World Data System."

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