The BBC is looking for computer users to help it predict the future climate of the UK.

Launched in conjunction with Oxford University and the Open University, viewers will help scientists project possible climate scenarios for the UK up to the year 2080 by donating their spare computer time to the project.

The initiative is to help promote a new series on BBC Four that looks at the effects of global warming in Greenland and tells the story of climate changes in the UK.

Those logging on will be asked to download a piece of software which connects to a server at Oxford University, and which downloads an individualised version of the Met Office's state-of-the art global climate model.

The climate model will use the computer's spare processing time - when the user is not actively working on it but still has it switched on - to make calculations and produce a possible future climate scenario for the UK.

Once the programme is downloaded the user does not have to do anything - the computer does all the work, and uploads data back to Oxford automatically.

Those participating can keep track of what is going on by bringing up graphics that show them what year their individual model has reached, and what the temperature is.

They can also set the graphics as a screensaver.

This is not the first time such a project has been put into action. In the mid-nineties SETI the organisation that looks for extra-terrestrial life asked computer users to donate their computer power via a screen saver. Unfortunately the project had to be stopped due to too many people signing up to help.

You can download the application at the