Wednesday, June 23


I missed a perfect story idea: The movie "The Day After Tomorrow" is all about how the climate goes crazy and wreaks havoc on people. Some climate scientists have criticized it as unrealistic, some have said it actually is fairly realistic, and others have said that regardless of how realistic it is, they're happy the movie's out there because it brings attention to their field.

There's one group in the best position to say how realistic the movie is: researchers at the University of Oxford who put together the world's largest climate computer simulation, The simulation relies on what's called distributed computing: tens of thousands of volunteers download the climate modeling program and it automatically runs the simulation during their computers' spare time. The BBC scooped me with a story about how the researchers are comparing the results from the computer simulation with the movie. This is what I consider a perfect story because it melds science with pop culture, so it will reach some people who otherwise wouldn't read a science story, and it's the kind of thing that people would talk about at the bar.


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