Earth System Grid Delivers Data for International Climate Change Report

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The Earth System Grid (ESG) has been developed by a team of researchers from national laboratories (ANL, LANL, LBNL, LLNL, and ORNL), federal research centers (NCAR, NOAA/PMEL), and the University of Southern California to make climate simulation data accessible to the international research community. To meet these challenges, ESG-Center for Enabling Technology has targeted the development of metadata technologies (standard organization, metadata extraction based on netCDF, and Metadata Catalog Services), security technologies (web-based user registration and authentication, and community authorization), data transport technologies (for high-performance access, robust multiple file transport and integration with mass storage systems, and support for dataset aggregation and subsetting), web portal technologies (to provide interactive access to the data holdings), as well as popular analysis and visualization tools.

One of major ESG data collections supports the efforts of Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC archive includes simulation data from 12 numerical experiments performed with 25 different climate models, by researchers in 12 countries and comprises 35 TB. To date, users from more than 1,200 registered analysis projects have downloaded more than 245 TB of data (914,000 files). Their analyses have resulted in more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, which were represented in the IPCC’s 4 th Assessment Report (AR4) published earlier in 2007. Analysis of the data continues, with downloads rising from 300 GB/day to nearly 500 GB/day even after the publication of the IPCC report.

The ESG-CET project is now looking forward to the needs of the next Assessment Report, among the several modeling efforts it supports. Though the designs for the modeling experiments are not complete, we are extending the ESG system to be capable of supporting a multi-petabyte archive distributed over more than 20 sites around the world for the IPCC AR5 data alone.


For further information on this subject contact:

Dean Williams, LLNL

David Bernholdt, ORNL

Don Middleton, NCAR

Ian Foster, ANL