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Title: DOE SciDAC’s Earth System Grid Center for Enabling Technologies Final Report for University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute

The mission of the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) is to provide the worldwide climate-research community with access to the data, information, model codes, analysis tools, and intercomparison capabilities required to make sense of enormous climate data sets. Its specific goals are to (1) provide an easy-to-use and secure web-based data access environment for data sets; (2) add value to individual data sets by presenting them in the context of other data sets and tools for comparative analysis; (3) address the specific requirements of participating organizations with respect to bandwidth, access restrictions, and replication; (4) ensure that the data are readily accessible through the analysis and visualization tools used by the climate research community; and (5) transfer infrastructure advances to other domain areas. For the ESGF, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Earth System Grid Center for Enabling Technologies (ESG-CET) team has led international development and delivered a production environment for managing and accessing ultra-scale climate data. This production environment includes multiple national and international climate projects (such as the Community Earth System Model and the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project), ocean model data (such as the Parallel Ocean Program), observation data (Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Best Estimate, Carbon Dioxide Information andmore » Analysis Center, Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, etc.), and analysis and visualization tools, all serving a diverse user community. These data holdings and services are distributed across multiple ESG-CET sites (such as ANL, LANL, LBNL/NERSC, LLNL/PCMDI, NCAR, and ORNL) and at unfunded partner sites, such as the Australian National University National Computational Infrastructure, the British Atmospheric Data Centre, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, the German Climate Computing Centre, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The ESGF software is distinguished from other collaborative knowledge systems in the climate community by its widespread adoption, federation capabilities, and broad developer base. It is the leading source for present climate data holdings, including the most important and largest data sets in the globalclimate community, and—assuming its development continues—we expect it to be the leading source for future climate data holdings as well. Recently, ESG-CET extended its services beyond data-file access and delivery to include more detailed information products (scientific graphics, animations, etc.), secure binary data-access services (based upon the OPeNDAP Data Access Protocol), and server-side analysis. The latter capabilities allow users to request data subsets transformed through commonly used analysis and intercomparison procedures. As we transition from development activities to production and operations, the ESG-CET team is tasked with making data available to all users seeking to understand, process, extract value from, visualize, and/or communicate it to others—this is of course if funding continues at some level. This ongoing effort, though daunting in scope and complexity, would greatly magnify the value of numerical climate model outputs and climate observations for future national and international climate-assessment reports. The ESG-CET team also faces substantial technical challenges due to the rapidly increasing scale of climate simulation and observational data, which will grow, for example, from less than 50 terabytes for the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment to multiple Petabytes for the next IPCC assessment. In a world of exponential technological change and rapidly growing sophistication in climate data analysis, an infrastructure such as ESGF must constantly evolve if it is to remain relevant and useful.« less
  1. University of Southern California
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute
Sponsoring Org:
Contributing Orgs:
University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute
Country of Publication:
United States
96 KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND PRESERVATION Earth System Grid, data replication, system monitoring