IRI Data Library: enhancing accessibility of climate knowledge

Blumenthal, Martin Benno; Bell, Michael A.; del Corral, John C.; Cousin, Remi; Khomyakov, Igor Yurievich

Background: Climate variability affects a broad swath of socio-economic sectors, and if it increases or the sector becomes overly-tuned to past or present climate conditions, climate variability becomes of increasing concern to a wide range of non-climate specialists. The significant challenges to building the capacity of non-climate specialists to use climate information in research and decision-making include the difficulties in accessing relevant and timely quality-controlled data and information in formats that can be readily incorporated into specific analysis and reporting. Methods: The IRI Data Library is a facility designed to cope with these issues of information dissemination. Methods developed include Map Rooms which are designed for rapid access to needed information for particular user groups, analysis tools useful for a wide range of users (especially while training), and a metadata framework that uses semantic technologies to transform metadata from a variety of sources into a variety of standards. Results: The results are tools to merge standard climate products with GIS information (e.g. averaging climate data over the political boundaries used to geolocate health and socio-economic data), as well as simplified access/transformation of large datasets only available as collections of many files or service points elsewhere. Conclusions: The IRI Data Library is thus a key platform that makes climate and other data products more widely accessible through tool development, data organization and transformation, and data/technology transfer.


Also Published In

Earth Perspectives

More About This Work

Academic Units
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Published Here
September 23, 2014