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Debbie Clifford
,
Raquel Alegre
,
Victoria Bennett
,
Jon Blower
,
Cecelia Deluca
,
Philip Kershaw
,
Christopher Lynnes
,
Chris Mattmann
,
Rhona Phipps
, and
Iryna Rozum

Abstract

For users of climate services, the ability to quickly determine the datasets that best fit one’s needs would be invaluable. The volume, variety, and complexity of climate data makes this judgment difficult. The ambition of CHARMe (Characterization of metadata to enable high-quality climate services) is to give a wider interdisciplinary community access to a range of supporting information, such as journal articles, technical reports, or feedback on previous applications of the data. The capture and discovery of this “commentary” information, often created by data users rather than data providers, and currently not linked to the data themselves, has not been significantly addressed previously. CHARMe applies the principles of Linked Data and open web standards to associate, record, search, and publish user-derived annotations in a way that can be read both by users and automated systems. Tools have been developed within the CHARMe project that enable annotation capability for data delivery systems already in wide use for discovering climate data. In addition, the project has developed advanced tools for exploring data and commentary in innovative ways, including an interactive data explorer and comparator (“CHARMe Maps”), and a tool for correlating climate time series with external “significant events” (e.g., instrument failures or large volcanic eruptions) that affect the data quality. Although the project focuses on climate science, the concepts are general and could be applied to other fields. All CHARMe system software is open-source and released under a liberal license, permitting future projects to reuse the source code as they wish.

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Eric Guilyardi
,
V. Balaji
,
Bryan Lawrence
,
Sarah Callaghan
,
Cecelia Deluca
,
Sébastien Denvil
,
Michael Lautenschlager
,
Mark Morgan
,
Sylvia Murphy
, and
Karl E. Taylor

The results of climate models are of increasing and widespread importance. No longer is climate model output of sole interest to climate scientists and researchers in the climate change impacts and adaptation fields. Now nonspecialists such as government officials, policy makers, and the general public all have an increasing need to access climate model output and understand its implications. For this host of users, accurate and complete metadata (i.e., information about how and why the data were produced) is required to document the climate modeling results. Here we describe a pilot community initiative to collect and make available documentation of climate models and their simulations. In an initial application, a metadata repository is being established to provide information of this kind for a major internationally coordinated modeling activity known as CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5). It is expected that for a wide range of stakeholders, this and similar community-managed metadata repositories will spur development of analysis tools that facilitate discovery and exploitation of Earth system simulations.

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