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Old 08-01-2017, 07:17 AM   #1
laconiclizard
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planetary computer simulations


Hundreds of times I've read little news articles about where sea levels will be in 100 years or the effect the KT asteroid had back in dinosaur times or why an exoplanet probably lost its atmosphere a billion years ago and they always say they figured it out with a "computer simulation". What are they really talking about? I suppose I always imagined they simulated an actual planet with plate tectonics and a magnetic field and a solar system with solar wind and way more complicated stuff than I can imagine and then they hit the go button and it races through the millenia on a supercompter and they can watch it happen because it has OpenGL graphics and stuff.

But now that I think about it it's probably not like that at all. But if it is does it need a supercomputer or can it run on a PC? And where can I download it?
 
Old 08-01-2017, 11:14 AM   #2
moxieman99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laconiclizard View Post
Hundreds of times I've read little news articles about where sea levels will be in 100 years or the effect the KT asteroid had back in dinosaur times or why an exoplanet probably lost its atmosphere a billion years ago and they always say they figured it out with a "computer simulation". What are they really talking about? I suppose I always imagined they simulated an actual planet with plate tectonics and a magnetic field and a solar system with solar wind and way more complicated stuff than I can imagine and then they hit the go button and it races through the millenia on a supercompter and they can watch it happen because it has OpenGL graphics and stuff.

But now that I think about it it's probably not like that at all. But if it is does it need a supercomputer or can it run on a PC? And where can I download it?
Check out BOINC and the various projects that use it. I use BOINC to run climateprediction.net simulations on my personal computer. So the answer to your question is that a project could use a super computer, or it could use distributed computing (a la BOINC).
 
Old 08-01-2017, 01:58 PM   #3
enorbet
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Planetwide simulations require massive computing power, more than the Average Joe has at his disposal. However it is worthy of note that such computing power has been created in the past by combining several gaming consoles, notably Sony Playstation.

See --- PS3 Super Computing ---


They have blocked such usage but the concept still works, as does the decades old distributed on the web model.
 
Old 08-02-2017, 07:45 AM   #4
laconiclizard
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How do we know the simulation isn't politically biased? Even if the climate scientists are neutral maybe the programmer they hire has secret ties to one side or the other. He could fudge the CO2 multiplier like in Office Space.
 
Old 08-02-2017, 08:07 AM   #5
ondoho
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predictions cannot be precise.
the variations are huge the further you go, and depending on your (political) inclinations you choose one that suits your rhethorics.

i do not know which co2 multiplier in what office space.
 
Old 08-02-2017, 11:24 AM   #6
moxieman99
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How do we know the simulation isn't politically biased? Even if the climate scientists are neutral maybe the programmer they hire has secret ties to one side or the other. He could fudge the CO2 multiplier like in Office Space.
-----------------------------
No idea what Office Space is, or its CO2 multiplier, but any reputable science project will release its source code for examination precisely to prevent such whingeing on the part of those who don't like the results.
 
Old 08-02-2017, 03:30 PM   #7
enorbet
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I'd like to remind agenda skeptical people that scientists, especially high level research scientists, were generally nerds in their entire school lives, and quite used to not "being in the In Crowd" and who pride themselves in being above petty politics and mundane squabbling. An example of this is during the height of the Cold War, even during the Cuban Missile Crisis, many Russian and US scientists remained in contact with each other in their fields as if nothing special was going on. Naturally because Russia was so secretive about weaponry and booster development, and there were areas forbidden in the US as well, not every field enjoyed such openness but Astronomy and Mathematics were just two that maintained constructive dialogue.

While it is impossible to entirely escape one's culture, upbringing and personal prejudice it is the community effort and peer review that tends to cancel such skewed views out. There is no one Authority. Surely you have seen that not only have public luminaries like Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and Neil deGrasse Tyson not been "sacred cows" and subject to criticism but in many cases their stature is something like Top Gun, making them even more of a target to be added as a notch on one's stock.

This is not just an imagination at work nor an attempt at spin. I majored in Engineering in college and had the pleasure of knowing several low-level scientists employed at Goddard Space Flight Center and subscribe to a number of Science Forums to this day, and pretty much everyone finds politics as boring as Tic Tac Toe, and even likely evidence of a mundane mind, not truly devoted to objectivity and hard line truth.

Do some scientists IN THE EMPLOY of corporations bend to the concerns of their employers? Certainly! but they don't run top level research. The Oil Lobby is possibly the most powerful lobby of all in the US and the Koch Brothers have proudly admitted spending many millions of dollars not only to counter and squelch objective research but to destroy the careers of politicians who even mention Renewable Energy or anything they see as an obstacle to business as usual.

Here's a link for any unfamiliar with the level of interference with objective truth exercised by the Koch's vast empire but you can find many more from fat more conservative publications that tell a similar story because it is not only simple fact, but lately flouted as a "no need to hide now that we are omnipotent" attitude prevails.

--- The Koch Influence ---

For an example of private individual research over decades see --- Chasing Ice - Fixed --- or view more recent satellite photo evidence. There is quite literally not a single scientist not employed by an oil interest firm who is not certain that human-caused global climate change is a reality. Some disagree on details but not one denies it is happening and cause for some alarm. Do your research. Decide for yourselves, but don't imagine scientists see this as some sort of meal ticket. Most not only couldn't be bothered by such mundane concerns but see it as personal intellectual slavery and career suicide.

Last edited by enorbet; 08-03-2017 at 09:51 AM.
 
Old 08-03-2017, 03:10 AM   #8
ondoho
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Quote:
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For an example of private individual research over decades see -- Chasing Ice ---
wrong film? tried with 3 browsers, all i get is japanese drama?
 
Old 08-03-2017, 09:55 AM   #9
enorbet
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wrong film? tried with 3 browsers, all i get is japanese drama?
OOPS! Thank you. It is now fixed. Sorry for the error. I've watched it more than once and actually am acquainted with one of the fellows that helped make the film. We both habituate The Physics Forum so i suppose familiarity does breed contempt, or at least fosters assumptions. I was fooled by the title anomaly on Google results and stupidly didn't wait long enough to see the actual video begin. I have no idea how the "Chasing Ice" title got mixed up with that film, but thanks to you, now see the error and corrected it..

Last edited by enorbet; 08-03-2017 at 09:58 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2017, 06:18 AM   #10
ondoho
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'k thanks, will see how far i can get with watching.
us american documentaries tend to stretch morsels of relevant information over hours of "infotainment"...
 
  


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