Prestigious ESGF awards for CEDA staff members

Posted on December 21, 2018 (Last modified on October 19, 2023) • 3 min read • 488 words
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Earlier this month, three CEDA staff members were presented with awards at the annual ESGF conference. The Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) is a collaborative project for distributing climate data, especially from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) models. It gives users a unified interface to search for and download data hosted at numerous data centres internationally.

Image: showing the partners involved with ESGF.

CEDA Software Engineer, Alan Iwi, was presented a joint award with IPSL’s Guillame Levavasseur for, ‘Exceptional contribution to CDNOT data challenges’. The CMIP Data Node Operations Team (CDNOT) sets requirements on the ESGF infrastructure for delivering the CMIPs. They ran a set of ‘data challenges’ to prepare the federation for the arrival of CMIP6 data. Guillame and Alan worked dedicatedly, over and above what was expected, to fix (often complex) operational and deployment issues.

The second award was presented to Ruth Petrie, a CEDA Data Scientist, for ‘Exceptional Service to the CDNOT’. This was related to Ruth’s indispensable contribution made to the operation of the CDNOT, particularly during the ESGF Data Challenges (DC) in preparation for handling the CMIP6 model output. The award stated ‘Without her contribution, it would be very hard to see that the data challenges could have been run successfully, and that the community would be able to make our goal of June 2018 readiness for a CMIP6 opening.’

Finally, Matt Pryor (JASMIN Cloud Developer) was awarded for his ‘Technical Contribution to the Development of the Container-based ESGF Deployment’. This was related to his dedicated work with the Container Working Team (CWT), who have been developing a fully containerised version of the ESGF software. This has required the integration of a complex set of application components into a completely new deployment and operational framework. Matt worked closely with the team and incorporated key innovations and applied best practice in this new and and fasting moving field - particularly in the application of Kubernetes and the use of Helm Charts.  Ultimately, Matt’s work is beneficial to the whole ESGF community as it has made installing and maintaining the ESGF software much easier. This is really important for the future development of the system.

CEDA has been participating in ESGF for many years and hosts one of the primary search indexes for the federation. CEDA also has one of the largest data holdings for CMIP5 in the federation. We use ESGF software to serve data from the ESA Climate Change Initiative and Climate Projections data for the EU’s Copernicus Climate Data Store.

As well as deploying ESGF servers, CEDA staff contribute actively in the ESGF community, including development of the software. Significant areas of recent contributions have included work on load-balanced server deployments, containerised architecture, enhancements to the system for identity management and access control and helping to coordinate activities for CMIP6.

The ESGF portal at CEDA can be found at

The ESA Climate Change Initiative Open Data Portal is at

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