Climate project runs into problems

Climate project runs into problems

Major distributed computing experiment forced to start again

A major glitch in a grid computing climate experiment has forced the project to be restarted.

Software programming errors in the BBC-sponsored model, which is downloaded on to the computers of volunteers and runs using spare processing capacity, has caused temperatures to be miscalculated.

A statement from Myles Allen,'s principal investigator, apologised to volunteers participating in the scheme and said the model has not been properly calculating the effect of pollution on global warming.

'It is obvious now that too many models were warming up too fast over the 20th century, but we needed a reasonable number to have got through the 1970s to be able to see this wasn’t just due to chance,' Allen said.

Myles says the data that has been collected from the models so far will not go to waste, and will be useful to the Oxford University run project as alternative scenario data.

A BBC statement says the fact that the error had been identified showed that checks on the system is working.

'It's something that would have been very hard to anticipate,' the corporation said.

'We're very grateful to everyone taking part and we hope they will continue to participate now that the experiment is back on track.'