Computer Simulation Forecasts Chesapeake Bay's Future | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Computer Simulation Forecasts Chesapeake Bay's Future

Play associated audio
A computer simulation program developed at the University of Virginia will help scientists forecast how human behavior and climate will affect the Chesapeake Bay's future.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/baltimoredave/4911543608/
A computer simulation program developed at the University of Virginia will help scientists forecast how human behavior and climate will affect the Chesapeake Bay's future.

Virginia scientists and engineers would like to forecast the environmental and economic effects of possible changes to agriculture, commerce and industry over the next twenty years for the Chesapeake Bay, and IBM says it's willing to help.

The company oversees a network of volunteers in 80 countries around the world, people who lend their computers down time for use in solving community problems. Using about 2 million of those PCs, the University of Virginia hopes to reach conclusions in a single year.

"What we're trying to do is determine via the simulation model which practices individual persons can adopt that will help reduce the flow of nutrients to the Bay, so that we can not only restore the Bay, but sustain it for future generations," says Gerald Learmonth, a systems engineering professor at UVA.

Learmonth says the findings could guide policymakers and the public, assuring that we do the most effective things in the years to come. He also says this could help about 400 other waterways.

The Computing for Sustainable Water Project relies on a mathematical model that simulates the actions of the 16.7 million people living in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. UVA hopes many of them will join the World Community Grid by downloading a free app to their personal computers. IBM says calculations are done automatically when systems are not in use. The process requires no time from volunteers, resists viruses, uses little additional energy, and does not affect computer speeds.

NPR

After A Ho-Hum Summer, Hollywood Ramps Up For Fall

Until Guardians of the Galaxy came along, this year's box office figures were the worst in years. But critic Bob Mondello says there are bound to be some fall films that get pulses pounding again.
NPR

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

Saffron, vanilla, palm oil, cacao and cottonseed oil are still picked by hand in some parts of the world. Sometimes that manual labor shows up in the price of the food; sometimes it doesn't.
NPR

Guns Boom In 2014 Campaign Ads

Ads with candidates shooting guns are proliferating this year, and it can all be traced back to Sen. Joe Manchin's famed 2010 spot titled "Dead Aim."
NPR

Why Do We Blindly Sign Terms Of Service Agreements?

Audie Cornish talks with University of Chicago Law School professor Omri Ben-Shahar about terms of service agreements for software and websites.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.