3.3 Climate Engine: Cloud Computing and Visualization of Climate and Remote Sensing Data for Advanced Natural Resource Monitoring and Process Understanding

Tuesday, 8 January 2019: 9:00 AM
North 224A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Justin Huntington, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV; and K. Hegewisch, B. Daudert, C. Morton, J. T. Abatzoglou, D. McEvoy, and T. A. Erickson

The paucity of long-term observations, particularly in regions with heterogeneous climate and land cover, can hinder incorporating climate data at appropriate spatial scales for decision-making and scientific research. Numerous gridded climate, weather, and remote sensing products have been developed to address the needs of both land managers and scientists, in turn enhancing scientific knowledge and strengthening early-warning systems. However, these data remain largely inaccessible for a broader segment of users given the computational demands of big data. Climate Engine (http://ClimateEngine.org) is a web-based application that overcomes many computational barriers that users face by employing Google’s parallel cloud-computing platform, Google Earth Engine, to process, visualize, download, and share climate and remote sensing datasets in real time. The software application development and design of Climate Engine is briefly outlined to illustrate the potential for high-performance processing of big data using cloud computing. Second, several examples are presented to highlight a range of climate research and applications related to drought, fire, ecology, and agriculture that can be rapidly generated using Climate Engine. The ability to access climate and remote sensing data archives with on-demand parallel cloud computing has created vast opportunities for advanced natural resource monitoring and process understanding. The open access peer reviewed publication for Climate Engine can be found in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society at https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00324.1.
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