The Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) is an open source international collaboration that provides a robust, distributed data and computation platform in support of the international climate modelling community. The federation enables access to Peta-scale scientific data for the purpose of supporting large collaborative projects such as CMIP6 - the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. ESGF is used by scientists around the world to access data, such as CMIP, to study the changing climate. Data from ESGF are ultimately used by government bodies for policy making decisions both at the national and international level such as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
Figure 1: Map of international partners and collaborators for ESGF (Credit: ESGF)
ESGF hold an annual meeting to coordinate the technical development of the system and to discuss, agree and coordinate policies and priorities for the coming year. ESGF has Working Teams, groups which are tasked with tackling a given piece of work for the effort, be it software development or some aspect of operations or security. As part of the annual meeting, the Executive Committee for ESGF, gives awards to teams or individuals that have made a particular achievement in the past year. This year, the Identity, Entitlement and Access (IdEA) team which CEDA staff are members of won an award.
The IdEA team work on software solutions for access to restricted data or computing resources. This is an important aspect because for example, data providers may want to record who has accessed their data to report to their sponsors and ensure legitimate fair usage. The IdEA team won the award for rolling out a new system for user sign-in based on OAuth 2.0, a popular framework used throughout the IT industry. The work involved a truly international collaboration with individuals from institutions including the NASA JPL/UCAR, University of Chicago, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and CEDA. Developers Matt Pryor and William Tucker (from CEDA) made key contributions to the software so that it could be easily integrated with existing legacy systems in ESGF.
In addition, ESGF as a whole won a prestigious R&D 100 award for 2018 - more information can be found here.
You can search for data held on the CEDA archive via the CEDA ESGF search portal.
If you have any queries about this service, please contact the CEDA helpdesk and mention ESGF in your query.