environment index
May 31, 1995 (as amended)

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energy generation

Technology can help our planet become more energy-efficient, in many ways. Nuclear fusion is currently the most promising energy generation technology, as it can create vast quantities of energy from tiny amounts of commonly-found raw materials, and its waste is biodegradable. Nuclear fusion is the same process that powers the sun.

the grid (aka distributed computing)

Grids promise to revolutionise computing, just as the internet revolutionised communications. Grids are large-scale clusters of computers, working together. Tasks are split into many small chunks - possibly millions or trillions of chunks - and are then shipped over the net to participating computers for execution. The computer ships the result back when it's done. This effectively creates a single computer from millions of smaller computers. The massive processing power that results can be used for the most pressing and computationally-intensive tasks, such as climate change simulation, medical and physics research.

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The Hockey-stick graph.
(image courtesy BBC)