Web Delivery of Giant Climate Data Sets to Facilitate Open Science

A session at FOSS4G North America 2013

  • James Hiebert

Wednesday 22nd May, 2013

10:30am to 11:00am (CST)

The world’s best climate scientists are busy churning out computed projections of our planet’s future atmosphere and ocean. However, major barriers exist to publishing geospatiotemporal climate data in an open and transparent manner. This is primarily due to the sheer volume of information that these data represent. A handful of variables for a handful of model realizations by dozens of models for scores of scenarios over centuries of time on tens to hundreds of thousands of grid points create big data. Secondary challenges include the novelty of high-resolution climate data and the complexity and sometimes enigmatic nature of climate data interpretation. Finally, scientific teams often lack either the background, the resources, or the mandate required to facilitate strategic data sharing, aside from dropping their output files onto an FTP site.

In the spirit of open data and open science, the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC), a regional climate services provider in British Columbia, Canada, has been making a concerted effort to use geospatial FOSS in order to expand the availability, comprehensibility and transparency of big climate data sets from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) experiment. This presentation will describe some of the technical challenges to serving large geospatiotemporal climate data sets over the web, including some of the nuances of climate data. Additionally, I will explain the requirements of the geospatial climate community, and outline the FOSS solutions that we have employed to serve big climate data sets over the web.

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James Hiebert

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Time 10:30am11:00am CST

Date Wed 22nd May 2013

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