Plans for the NOAA National Climate Model Portal

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Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 12:00 AM
Plans for the NOAA National Climate Model Portal
606 (Washington State Convention Center)
Glenn K. Rutledge, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and D. N. Williams and C. Deluca

In pursuit of understanding environmental change and impact, scientists and decision makers are challenged by the overwhelming plethora of data associated with climate variability study. In response to this challenge, NOAA is developing a new National Climate Model Portal (NCMP) to optimize operational access capability for the next generation, high-resolution weather, reanalysis, and climate models and associated extreme scale data sets. To reach goals set by this diverse community of users, NCMP is advancing research at the new NOAA Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS) in Asheville, North Carolina to fulfill a National Academy of Science, Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) recommendation to advance multi-model ensemble diagnostics and statistical and dynamic downscaling under the NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System (NOMADS) [BAMS Rutledge, 2006].

NCMP will be an initial access point to NOAA's suite of model data sets under the NOAA Climate Service Portal (NCSP). In its collaboration with the new Environmental Projection Center (EPC) at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) for distributed access, it will support intercomparison models simulations and observational tools—tools that will be made available for use for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Model Intercomparison Project, phase 5 (CMIP5) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).

To reach our varied community of users, NCMP will be designed to convey key aspects of complex scientific data in a manner accessible and understandable to both scientists, and non-specialists alike. The NCMP will be designed with three main user groups in mind: 1) the lay person looking for information on how climate will affect their lives in the short-term (seasonal), or long-term (decadal); 2) the sectorial business communities, including energy, agriculture, transportation, water, city planners and other regional and local domain specific users; and 3) the modeling and observational scientific communities. These capabilities will leverage across existing partnerships, such as the Department of Energy's Earth System Grid (ESG) led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory [BAMS Williams, 2009].

The initial data sets to be available under NCMP will be the suite of NOAA's next generation climate reanalysis products. These reanalysis products utilize major advancements in model physics and provide coupling across the ocean, air, and land. Totaling approximately 1 petabyte (1 petabyte (PB) = 1x1015 bytes) of data, these data sets are to include: • Climate Forecast System Reanalysis and Reforecast (CFS-RR), a modern satellite era reanalysis. It is the first coupled 30-year (1979 to the present) global reanalysis of the atmosphere, ocean, land, and cryosphere (sea ice) ever developed by NOAA. It consists of two parts: the Reanalysis (completed and on-going) and the Reforecast (underway). • Climate Prediction Center Reanalysis (CPCR), an historical upper-air reanalysis that is a long time series (1850 to present). • Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project (20CR), reanalysis led by NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL).

NCMP will advance the highly successful NOMADS system. A national collaboration that implemented successful systems and standards already in use by the community—software components include: Unidata's THREDDS (TDS), PMEL's Live Access Server (LAS), and the GrADS Data Server (GDS) from the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA). NCMP will implement core standards, such as the Open Geospatial Consortiums' (OGC) “WxS” services for discovery, access, display and use. The format neutral OPeNDAP protocol, as used in the NOMADS system, will also be a key aspect of the design of NCMP.

NCMP design will include a user portal, a catalog node, and a data node. The portal is the users' interface to the system, where they can manage requests, download data, provide user input and do catalog browsing. The catalog node is at the heart of the system and concentrates on connecting partners using existing capabilities such as the ESG and the replicated CMIP5 (IPCC AR5) multi-model archive housed at the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI). Other existing and successful activities will be leveraged, such as NOAA's metadata repositories, and capabilities developed under NOAA's pilot effort called the GEO-IDE Unified Access Framework (UAF).

This paper will describe the requirements gathering processes, architecture, and diverse data sets as they become available for use in the new NCMP enterprise system.