Modelling climate events on home PCs

Home laptop running a climate model

One of the most innovative ways of understanding weather extremes involves running models of the same year many thousands of times.

This requires vast amounts of computing power – more than is feasible even on the best supercomputers currently available to scientists. The problem can be overcome through distributed computing, which combines the power of thousands of ordinary home and work computers.

Using ordinary PCs limits the size of the models that can be run, so in this project we use a relatively simple climate model. We run both global simulations and regional simulations that cover the Australasia region. Weather@Home in New Zealand is run at NIWA by the Deep South Challenge, working closely with the project’s headquarters at the University of Oxford, England.