Earth System Grid: Climate Model Datasets as Community Resources

esgThe Earth System Grid II (ESG) is a research project sponsored by the U.S. DOE Office of Science under the auspices of the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing program (SciDAC). The primary goal of ESG is to address the formidable challenges associated with enabling analysis of and knowledge development from global Earth System models. Through a combination of Grid technologies and emerging community technology, distributed federations of supercomputers and large-scale data & analysis servers will provide a seamless and powerful environment that enables the next generation of climate research.

High-resolution, long-duration simulations performed with advanced DOE SciDAC/NCAR climate models will produce tens of petabytes of output. To be useful, this output must be made available to global change impacts researchers nationwide, both at national laboratories and at universities, other research laboratories, and other institutions. To this end, we propose to create a new Earth System Grid, ESG-II – a virtual collaborative environment that links distributed centers, users, models, and data. ESG-II will provide scientists with virtual proximity to the distributed data and resources that they require to perform their research. The creation of this environment will significantly increase the scientific productivity of U.S. climate researchers by turning climate datasets into community resources. In creating ESG-II, we will integrate and extend a range of Grid and collaboratory technologies, including the DODS remote access protocols for environmental data, Globus Toolkit technologies for authentication, resource discovery, and resource access, and Data Grid technologies developed in other projects. We will develop new technologies for (1) creating and operating “filtering servers” capable of performing sophisticated analyses, and (2) delivering results to users. In so doing, we will simultaneously contribute to climate science and advance the state of the art in collaboratory technology. We expect our results to be useful to numerous other DOE projects. The three-year R&D program will be undertaken by a talented and experienced team of computer scientists at five laboratories (ANL, LBNL, LLNL, NCAR, ORNL) and one university (ISI), working in close collaboration with climate scientists at several sites.