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The EdGCM Project develops and distributes a research-quality global climate model (GCM) with a user-friendly interface that runs on desktop computers. Anyone can explore the subject of climate change using the same methods and tools that scientists employ. The design of the software allows students to learn and experience the full scientific process including: designing experiments, setting up and running computer simulations, post-processing output, using scientific visualization to display results, and creating scientific reports ready for publishing to the web.

What's New

Version 3.1.1: Version info coded into GCM (shown at startup) and EdGCM toolbar.

Requirements

Mac OS X 10.3 or later

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EdGCM User Discussion

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Anonymous Member IconReview
Anonymous
+0

Please ignore the above comments from someone who clearly has a bone to pick with the NSF. I worked on this project in its infancy.

EdGCM is "free" as in: "you may download and use it without paying anyone anything". That is to be compared to 99% of the software that is used in federally funded research which no home Mac user will ever get to see, let alone download and use.

This is complex climate modeling software which is in use in classrooms and research programs right now. The fact that it isn't as polished as Final Cut Pro or software of that nature is a direct result of the enormous magnitude of the task of turning something that is normally run on powerful supercomputers by scientists with years of training into something that students can use with only classroom training. Combined with the small team involved in its development, it is a miracle that something this powerful is available at all.

Anyone who is interested in doing real, scientifically valid climate research, should download this software and spend the time to learn how to use it. Spending a few minutes inspecting it, and then trashing it on a software review site is about as big a waste of time as I can imagine.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.5
Anonymous Member IconReview
Anonymous
+0

How did this monstrosity get to the Mac? It's a pile of programs with no apparent links, no beginning, and no end. The long flowery introduction tells you everything but how to run that software. The whole project epitomizes what is wrong with the National Science Foundation. In the times when understanding climate changes becomes critical for the survival of mankind, these bureaucrats spend a lot of taxpayers money on a project that nobody can understand. Judging by the (lack of) project organization and non-usable software, the authors themselves do not have a grasp on the product. Without a coherent description, it leaves an impression of a hastily arranged pile of disjoint pieces of software. Have the authors ever heard of QA or GUI? This mammoth easily replaces Encyclopaedia Britannica as the worst designed piece of software. And by the way, do not be fooled by a "free" designation for EdGCM. It was paid for by all of us, courtesy of the National Science Foundation.

Reply2 replies
Version 2.4.1
Mark Chandler (Developer)
+0

To the anonymous reviewer who trashed our software and NSF:

I'm not sure if you've ever seen a research quality GCM prior to EdGCM. They have no GUI, no database, and require access to both supercomputers and trained scientific programmers to run. EdGCM is being used by hundreds of teachers and students ranging in age from middle school to graduate school. There is documentation included with the software that incorporates a discussion of the project's goals, a tutorial, and correlations to National Science Education Standards (required by teachers). There is a FAQ on the website, and we run a support bulletin board, which we monitor daily. We are also very good about using our own time to answer questions sent to us via email or when we get phone calls. This is a complex computer model of the type used by research scientists, like myself, to study critical problems facing our world. Putting a GUI on it and porting it to PCs and Macs does not make it less complex, but it does put it into the hands of teachers and students at an earlier age so they can familiarize themselves with the tools of the trade and, hopefully, contribute to this important scientific endeavor earlier in their careers.

NSF and NASA funded the project for 2 of the 8 years it took to develop. So, most of it was done in the time donated by many scientists, educators, and programmers. It is currently distributed free of charge.

Anonymous Member Icon
Anonymous
+0

Regarding the science claims by the original review: There were none. But EdGCM produces good scientific data/products/processes.

A reply to each statement in the review:

> How did this monstrosity get to the Mac?
We designed/wrote/ported it to the Mac. Please do not expect a simple eye-candy-ish Aqua UI with a few buttons. This is a monstrous task.

> It's a pile of programs with no apparent links, no beginning, and no end.
It is modeling the climate... A pile of processes with semi-apparent links (feedbacks) with a beginning several hundred million years ago, and an unknown end. :)

This pile of programs allows you to:
* model the climate
* modify and customize: continent layout, vegetation, atmosphere, greenhouse gasses, orbital parameters, and more
* interface to a database, manage multiple climate simulations
* Disk usage, job control...
* post process from level 0 data (raw outputs) to level 3 or 4 (averaged, binned, organized end products)
* extract and view hundreds of different variables
* scientific visualization
* image categorization / libraries
* paper writing.
* etc.

It isn't a simple task so the program(s) are not necessarily simple to use.

> The long flowery introduction tells you everything but how to run that software.
we are in the process of moving to a new site, new layout, new content.

[snip]

> Judging by the (lack of) project organization and non-usable software, the authors themselves do not have a grasp on the product. Without a coherent description, it leaves an impression of a hastily arranged pile of disjoint pieces of software. Have the authors ever heard of QA or GUI? This mammoth easily replaces Encyclopaedia Britannica as the worst designed piece of software.

This is a work in progress and much of it on donated time. We welcome both feedback (constructive, relevant), software patches, graphics, and articles. We provide assistance rapidly on our website. We do not respond quickly to criticisms left on miscellaneous websites because we don't know about it for a while.

[insert]
> In the times when understanding climate changes becomes
> critical for the survival of mankind, these bureaucrats spend
> a lot of taxpayers money on a project that nobody can understand.

> And by the way, do not be fooled by a "free" designation for EdGCM.
> It was paid for by all of us, courtesy of the National Science
> Foundation. (7/13/2005, Version: 2.4.1)

I'm glad you understand the importance of climate change. I can assure you some part of you or your job, employer, industry, or product is given tax-derived money that I could take offense with if I so choose.

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Details

Downloads 4,144
Version Downloads 1,279
License Free
Date 30 Apr 2008
Platform OS X / PPC 32
Price Free
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