The Earth System Grid Center for Enabling Technologies (ESG-CET)
The Earth System Grid Center for Enabling Technologies (ESG-CET) is a five-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SciDAC-2 program to develop and deploy an international virtual facility for climate and related impacts research. A follow-on to our earlier ESG project, the effort has grown into a large-scale collaboration among NCAR (SCD, CGD, and HAO), Argonne National Labs (ANL), Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL), Lawrence Livermore National Labs Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Interpretation (LLNL/PCMDI), NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA/PMEL), the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (USC/ISI), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
This is a snapshot of an early release of a new ESG web portal that provides access to climate change simulation datasets, climate models, regional climate data, and analysis and visualization tools. It is built on the ESKE Science Gateway Framework (SGF), which is new cyberinfrastructure that can be deployed for multiple distributed Gateways. ESG now provides services to over 12,000 people worldwide and has delivered close to half a petabyte of data. The new infrastructure will be used to support the next IPCC Assessment Report, among other things.
ESG currently provides a production service for most of the joint NSF/DOE climate change simulations conducted over the last seven years as well as the IPCC 4th Assessment Report data holdings. Access is provided through a combination of web portal access as well as desktop applications that mediate large-scale transfers to the user. ESG currently has over 12,000 registered users worldwide, manages over 225 TB of data in archives distributed around the nation, and has delivered close to 500 TB of data to its constituents. Over the past two years, more than 400 scientific journal articles have been published from analyses of data delivered by the ESG. ESG thus plays an important role in advancing NCAR's strategic plan, including "Developing and providing advanced tools and services," "Engaging a broader and more diverse community in the atmospheric and geosciences," "Creating an Earth System Knowledge Environment," and "Advancing a global community's ability to advance climate research." It is also an excellent example of cross-agency collaboration to advance science.
During FY2008 we have continued to operate our production systems and grow our data offerings as new climate data products have become available. Our primary focus has been the continued development of ESG-CET requirements as a primary driver for the ESKE SGF development effort in support of the general distribution of climate model data, and the upcoming IPCC AR5 requirements. We developed a comprehensive metadata/domain model, including relational tables and object-oriented mappings, along with an RDF-based framework for semantically based search and discovery of scientific data.
As we move toward a globally distributed federated system, security considerations have become a primary concern, and we have invested a lot of effort in working with partners in the U.K. and Europe to develop a security design that will enable cross-virtual-organization interoperability. We have worked with PCMDI to enable remote publishing of datasets from a rich client application into the gateway data holdings, in support of upcoming IPCC AR5 publishing activities. Metadata and ontologies are very important relative to enabling the required level of scientific query, and to that end we have worked extensively with the Earth System Curator project over the past year, and have also recently begun a collaboration with the EU METAFOR project on the shared development of climate model metadata ontologies.
ESG-CET continues to be highly visible in the global community, and we have presented posters and papers at a pair of DOE SciDAC meetings as well as at the European Geophysical Union conference in Vienna, Austria. We have several papers in progress that will be published in FY2009.
In FY2009 we will transition the existing operational ESG system onto the new ESKE SGF infrastructure, migrating on order of 14,000 users to the new system. In parallel with that, we will begin deploying a new ESG-CET distributed federated testbed that will connect IPCC/CMIP5 data provisioning sites in the U.S., the U.K., the EU, and later, Asia.
Primary support for this project is from DOE's Scientific Discovery Through Advanced Computing program contract DE-FC02-06ER25772 with additional support from NSF via NCAR's Cyberinfrastructure Strategic Initiative and NSF Core funding.