One of the seven societal challenges as indentified by Horizon 2020 “Climate Action” aims at fighting and adapting to climate change contributing to specific objectives defined to:
- Develop climate modelling and science for climate services to help provide trustworthy science-based information to government, public and private decision makers,
- Pool resources to develop better tools, methods and standards to help assess the impact of climate change and adaptation responses,
- Improve understanding of the economics of climate change and linkages with sustainable development,
- Develop technological options and strategies to improve air quality and reduce the carbon footprint of European cities, and
- Create climate change networks to facilitate dialogue among relevant scientific communities, funding bodies and user communities in the EU.
Climate action is one of the cross-cutting issues mainstreamed in Horizon 2020. The main focus is placed on addressing and understanding the direct effects of climate change on the environment and wellbeing. According to the Advisory Group Report one of the priorities of this action is set on strengthening the global market for “climate services”, setup as “flagship initiative” by the DG Research & Innovation. They are designed to provide cutting-edge customised information services and adaptation solutions to a range of end-users, making the EU a world leader in this sector. The term “climate services” has a broad meaning, which covers the transformation of climate-related data into customised products (e.g. forecasts, future climate projections, trends), for a number of applications such as impact assessment, mitigation actions and disaster risk management and any other climate related service that might have a positive impact on the society at large. Climate services bridge the gap between data providers and users. They are based on climate science which provides, at an ever increasing rate, data from Earth-system (global) and regional models, observational data, climate information and socio-economic impacts model data, all directly aimed at users. Users could be from climate research and climate impact assessment communities and a wide range of stakeholders from the public and private sectors.
Nowadays, users have access to publically available “Big” datasets but to a great extent they lack the right expertise and sufficient knowledge in handling and using such data. Currently, the progress in climate science induced by “Big Data” is slow although this field has become one of the most data rich domains in terms of volume, velocity and variety. Management and effective manipulation of climate “Big Data” therefore, becomes a challenge for organizations engaged in climate research and services. Such actions call for the development of techniques and tools for storage, analysis and visualisation in order to extract useful conclusions for potential solutions in an effective way. To this end, Big Data Europe project aims at providing an integrated stack of tools to handle, publish and use large-scale data resources.
In the following, we will launch a series of blog posts to investigate the possible opportunities and benefits offered by “Big Data” technologies in the domain of climate. An important part of the work conducted in the BDE project is the elicitation of requirements from the relevant communities working on climate data in the field covered by this societal challenge. The partner responsible for reaching out to these climate related communities to elicit Big Data requirements for this societal challenge is the National Centre for Scientific Research ‘Demokritos” (NCSRD).
The BDE project is a Coordination and Support action, for this reason it is planned to engage people interested and working in this domain using several tools. Together we would like to design, realize and evaluate a Big Data Integrator Platform infrastructure. The platform targets the facilitation of Big Data usage in real world examples. The BDE platform will offer the opportunities of the latest RTD developments to the interested participating third parties, including real time streaming, multilingual data harvesting, data analytics and data visualisation.
A series of workshops are being planned in order to highlight requirements for the Big Data Integrator Platform, review the architecture for a prototype implementation, and also to evaluate and showcase the platform. Besides, we are building a Big Data interest group around the domain of climate. We openly invite data and service managers and technical Big Data experts working in the domain of SC5 to join the W3C group to select, prioritise and analyse the technological demands and requirements of stakeholders.
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