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Simclimate, an experimental climate simulation frontend for GPU

Simclimate is a GPU frontend to experiment with climate simulation. It is an amateurial attempt to develop a climate simulation, based on this document of Science in School. Although some effort was put into the project, it can not rival with professional simulations, e.g. the ones which run on NASA supercomputers. Simclimate is the first GPU frontend entirely written in Lazarus/Freepascal. The source code of GPU Simclimate is available in module gpu_solar on CVS, under lib/libclimate and src/frontend/thedayaftertomorrow. The current implementation works only on a single node, although an approach with parametric spaces could be tempted.

CO2 concentration above Earth
CO2 concentration above industrial regions of Earth.

The simulation has some good points:
  • Energy balance according to the Science in School article.
  • Advanced visualization capabilities through GPU frontend.
  • Day of lenght duration depends on earth inclination.
  • Elevation and population based on real data.
  • There is an attempt to model the CO2 Cycle, vegetation, vulcanos and even nuclear wars.
  • Many parameters changeable via GUI, try for example to move Earth closer to the Sun or to increase the Earth inclination.
  • Atmosphere is implemented with several layers.
and some weak points:
  • Using a grid based on degrees with varying size. Better would have been to use a triangular grid, each triangle with the same surface. Doing so, all regions of Earth are treated in the same way and numerical glitches are reduced.
  • The atmosphere does not move air masses, only steam. Though the Coriolis effect is in place, clouds do not form the typical storm patterns.
  • The ocean is static, there is no thermohaline circulation.
  • Coriolis effect is implemented in a primitive manner.
  • Poor vegetation model.
CO2 concentration above Earth
Ashes of volcano Eyjafjallajökull moving toward Europe and blocking aircraft traffic.

Parameter space of Simclimate
The parameter window of GPU Simclimate.
Seeschloss created the initial website. The logo was designed by Mark Grady. Graphics are by David A. Lucas.
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