London's Science Museum will be hosting the world's largest climate prediction experiment kicking off next Friday 12 September.

The project is a collaboration between the Met Office and several educational establishments including the universities of Oxford, Reading and the Open University. It will use the combined power of individual computers from around the world to generate a probability-based forecast of 21st century weather.

Those taking part are invited to download a unique version of the Met Office's software which simulates several decades of the Earth's climate changes. The software runs in the background while participants use their PCs as normal. At the end of the experiment each person must return the results generated by their PC via email.

"While many studies in the past have made plausible predictions of climate change, it hasn't been possible to quantify our confidence in these predictions. We hope to be able to say, for the first time, what the climate probably will, and more importantly probably won't, do in the future," said David Stainforth, the chief scientist involved.

If you want to take part, click here to download the necessary software.

"The success of depends upon the computing power of millions of PCs worldwide," said Dr Kevin Gell, managing director of Tessella Support Services, another collaborator on the project.

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The Science Museum