From WCG via Ethical Corporation: “How IBM is using the world’s surplus computer power to help the planet”

New WCG Logo

WCGLarge

World Community Grid (WCG)

1

Ethical Corporation

Jul 14, 2017
Jennifer Ryan Crozier

IBM’s Jennifer Ryan Crozier on how the open-source World Community Grid is advancing climate solutions by allowing researchers to complete thousands of years’ worth of research in just a few years

2
No image caption or credit.

Summer heat used to mean summer fun. But this year, the first days of summer were ushered in by an ominous new study published in Nature Climate Change by Dr.Camilo Mora of the University of Hawaii. Mora and his team of researchers are predicting that without major reductions in greenhouse gases, up to 75% of the world’s population will be in danger of dying from heat by the year 2100. According to The Weather Company, an IBM business, “Global surface temperature has increased by around 1.8°F (1.0°C) since the late 1800s. More than half of this increase has occurred since the 1970s, and every decade since then has been warmer than the one before it.”

The growing impact of climate change – including more drought, water shortages, intense storms, rising sea levels, and extremely hot weather – has galvanized scientists around the world to work overtime in the search for solutions, often with limited resources. Their work will figure prominently in making the Paris Agreement real, which was forged in 2015 as a pledge by countries worldwide to combat climate change with lower carbon emissions.

Recently business, academic and science communities with a presence in the US loudly reiterated their strong support for the accord, joining collaborative action such as the We Are Still In coalition.

Over the last few decades, the private sector has discovered the innovation related to sustainability is not only the right thing to do, but is also good for business. Customers want to do business with environmentally responsible businesses, and companies reap efficiencies that make them more competitive and creative. In fact, IBM itself has saved an enormous amount of money and done its part for the environment by meeting its own emissions and renewable energy sourcing commitments years ahead of schedule.

But we want to do more. We want to equip the science community with the kind of resources it needs to fight climate change. Computational research is one such powerful tool for advancing climate change research and developing solutions. In fact, in awarding the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to a group of computer scientists who pioneered the field, the Prize Committee remarked that: “Today the computer is just as important a tool as the test tube.” The rapid growth in big data also holds valuable new insights. But to uncover those insights and leverage these techniques, scientists need much more computing power than they typically have access to. 

World Community Grid addresses that gap. IBM’s World Community Grid is a crowd-sourced virtual supercomputer that is powered by the surplus computing power of computers and Androids donated by individual volunteers and organizations. Instead of wasting energy when idle or not in full use, hundreds of thousands of these devices redirect otherwise unused processing power to research scientists to collectively perform virtual experiments at an unprecedented scale.

Through the contributions of over 730,000 volunteers and 430 organizations, worth $400m, World Community Grid’s research partners have completed the equivalent of thousands of years of work in just a few years, enabling important advances in environmental science.

For example, scientists at Harvard University used World Community Grid to run the Clean Energy Project, the world’s largest quantum chemistry experiment with the goal of identifying new materials for solar energy. In just a few years, they analyzed millions of chemical compounds to predict their efficiency at converting sunlight into electricity. Their discovery of thousands of promising compounds will advance the development of cheap, flexible solar cell materials that we hope will be used worldwide to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to the fight against climate change.

3

Another project, designed by a team of international researchers and led by scientists at Tsinghua University in China [Computing for Clean Water], undertook an unprecedented, massive computational simulation study powered by IBM’s World Community Grid. They found that the use of carbon nanotubes, under specific conditions, could potentially lead to more efficient water filtering with less expense and less impact on the environment. Another World Community Grid project helped scientists study the impact of water management and development policies on large watershed areas.


WCG Computing for Clean Water Project

World Community Grid has also enabled medical breakthroughs. For instance, the Chiba Institute in Japan identified seven novel drug candidates that could potentially be used in new medicines that fight childhood neuroblastoma, one of the most common and dangerous childhood cancers. Tests showed that even at remarkably low doses, these drug candidates are very effective at killing cancer cells with no immediately apparent side effects.

WCG Fighting Childhood Cancer

This week, the scientific community is being offered a new opportunity to advance the quest for ways to combat climate change. IBM is inviting scientists around the world to apply for a technology grant (valued at $40m) of crowd-sourced supercomputing power, meteorological data from The Weather Company, and IBM Cloud storage to support their climate or environmental research project.

Up to five of the most promising environmental and climate-related research projects will be supported, with technology and services contributions valued commercially at approximately $200 million.

These resources can support many potential areas of inquiry, such as impacts on fresh water resources, predicting migration patterns, and developing models to improve crop resilience.

Proposals will be evaluated for scientific merit, potential to contribute to the global community’s understanding of specific climate and environmental challenges and development of effective strategies to mitigate them, and the capacity of the research team to manage a sustained research project. 

In return for this support, winning scientists agree to support open science by publicly releasing the research data from their collaboration with us, enabling the global community to benefit from and build upon their findings. 

Scientists from around the world are encouraged to apply at https://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/climate.action, with a first round deadline of 15 September. Individuals and organisations can also support this work by joining http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org to donate their spare computing power to the winning research projects. 

Climate change is a serious threat to people and our planet. And time is of the essence. We know that businesses and citizens themselves are critical to meet this challenge. IBM is proud to stand with the #WeAreStillIn coalition, the broadest cross section of the American economy that has pledged its commitment to help continue leading the global fight against climate change. All of us must be a part of the solution. World Community Grid is giving scientists, citizens and their computers the ability to work around the clock for change. 

See the full article here.

Ways to access the blog:
https://sciencesprings.wordpress.com
http://facebook.com/sciencesprings

Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
STEM Icon

Stem Education Coalition

World Community Grid (WCG) brings people together from across the globe to create the largest non-profit computing grid benefiting humanity. It does this by pooling surplus computer processing power. We believe that innovation combined with visionary scientific research and large-scale volunteerism can help make the planet smarter. Our success depends on like-minded individuals – like you.”
WCG projects run on BOINC software from UC Berkeley.
BOINCLarge

BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing.

BOINC WallPaper

CAN ONE PERSON MAKE A DIFFERENCE? YOU BET!!

My BOINC
MyBOINC
“Download and install secure, free software that captures your computer’s spare power when it is on, but idle. You will then be a World Community Grid volunteer. It’s that simple!” You can download the software at either WCG or BOINC.

Please visit the project pages-

FightAIDS@home Phase II

FAAH Phase II
OpenZika

Rutgers Open Zika

Help Stop TB
WCG Help Stop TB
Outsmart Ebola together

Outsmart Ebola Together

Mapping Cancer Markers
mappingcancermarkers2

Uncovering Genome Mysteries
Uncovering Genome Mysteries

Say No to Schistosoma

GO Fight Against Malaria

Drug Search for Leishmaniasis

Computing for Clean Water

The Clean Energy Project

Discovering Dengue Drugs – Together

Help Cure Muscular Dystrophy

Help Fight Childhood Cancer

Help Conquer Cancer

Human Proteome Folding

FightAIDS@Home

faah-1-new-screen-saver

faah-1-new

World Community Grid is a social initiative of IBM Corporation
IBM Corporation
ibm

IBM – Smarter Planet
sp

Advertisements