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The Green Life: How Your Laptop Can Help Save the World

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June 16, 2011

How Your Laptop Can Help Save the World

Digital volunteering While you take a lunch break or an afternoon nap, your laptop can do cutting-edge research on climate change. Install Intel’s Progress Thru Processors app and you're linked to ClimatePrediction.net, which "borrows" your idle computer to run models of climate disruption.

Given the sheer number of factors influencing Earth's temperature, from ice caps to algal blooms, it's no surprise that climate models are incredibly difficult to get right. By donating your processing power to the project, scientists can virtually play out thousands of slightly different scenarios, improving the accuracy of models and learning how sensitive they are to change. The data is then used in critical experiments, one of the most interesting being a test of climate-mitigation geoengineering techniques. And as we all know, knowledge is power the better we understand what's coming, the better we can prepare for it.

Intel’s Tech Wonders campaign also allows you to digitally volunteer for Rosetta@home, which models proteins that could be used to fight AIDS, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease, or Africa@home, which tests malaria control strategies. So get on Facebook, install the app, and volunteer from the comfort of . . . wherever you and your computer happen to be.

--Christa Morris

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