Sharing a World of Data

Scaling the Earth Systems Grid to Petascale Data to enable faster, easier sharing of climate change research data

Dean N. Williams (project webpage)
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Current efforts in climate modeling and climate science are generating massive amounts of data that are distributed across the globe. Under SciDAC-1 the Earth System Grid (ESG) was developed and deployed to make climate simulation data easily accessible to the climate modeling community. The Earth System Grid (ESG) currently has 2,300 registered users and manages 140 terabytes of data. It is estimated that more than 200 scientific publications are under way from analysis of ESG-delivered data in the past year alone. Despite these successes, ESG faces significant challenges in coming years as the size, complexity, and number of climate datasets grow dramatically. The goals of this proposed five-year project are to (a) sustain the successful existing ESG system, (b) address projected scientific needs for data management and analysis, (c) extend ESG to support the major Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment in 2010, (d) support the Climate Science Computational End Station at the DOE Leadership Computing Facility at ORNL, and (e) support climate model evaluation activities under the proposed SciDAC-2 climate application. To do this, we will broaden ESG to support multiple types of model and observational data, provide more powerful (client-side) ESG access and analysis services, enhance interoperability between common climate analysis tools and ESG, and enable end-to-end simulation and analysis workflow.

This project has relevance to efforts to deliver improved climate data and models for policy makers to determine safe levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and to reduce differences between observed and model simulated temperatures at sub-continental scales, based on the use of several decades of recent data. This project will improve access to and utility of datasets to support the Department of Energy’s contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment in 2010.

Center for Enabling Technology: Distributed Computing

Project Title: Scaling the Earth System Grid to Petascale Data Center for Enabling Technologies

Principal Investigator: N. Dean Williams
Affiliation: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Project Webpage:

Participating Institutions and Co-Investigators:
Argonne National Laboratory, Ian Foster (Co-PI) - Katarzyna Keahey, and Veronika Nefedova
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - N. Dean Williams (PI), Robert Drach, and Kyle Halliday
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Arie Shoshani
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Mathew E. Maltrud and Philip Jones
National Center for Atmospheric Research - David Brown, Luca Cinquini, Peter Fox, and Don Middleton (Co-PI)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Steve Hankin and Ansley Manke
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - David E. Bernholdt, Meili Chen, Line C. Pouchard, and Jens Schwidder
University of Southern California - Ann L. Chervenak, Carl Kesselman

Funding Partners: Office of ScienceOffice of Advanced Scientific Computing Research and Office of Biological and Environmental Research

Budget and Duration: Approximately $2.75 million per year for five years 1

Other SciDAC Enabling Technologies Centers
Other SciDAC computer science efforts

1Subject to acceptable progress review and the availability of appropriated funds


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