RDA Earth Sciences Interest Group Workshop, 11 February 2016, Barcelona, Spain

RDA Earth Sciences Interest Group Workshop, 11 February 2016, Barcelona, Spain
11 Feb

RDA Earth Sciences Interest Group Workshop, 11 February 2016, Barcelona, Spain

Workshop on the creation of a Research Data Alliance Interest Group on weather, climate and air quality

The Earth Sciences community, and especially the weather, climate and air quality sectors, are producing enormous amounts of data at a rate that makes the science behind this data more and more difficult. Several problems arise with this growth: how to handle the volume of data itself, but also how to disseminate, process and document (metadata) the data.
Some of these issues are common to many scientific communities but some of them are very domain-specific and need a very specific answer.
To address these issues, the Earth Sciences Department of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS ) decided to take advantage of its involvement in the Research Data Alliance (RDA ), an organization that tries to solve data sharing issues from a general point of view and for many communities, using the RDA infrastructure and support to create an interest group on weather, climate and air quality to gather different actors from these communities and try to address together the common issues that have been identified.
Around 25 people coming from different research institutes and private companies from all over Europe attended the workshop.


10.00 - 10.15  Introduction to the topic – Francisco Doblas Reyes, BSC

10.15 - 10.30  Introduction to RDA – Fabrizio Gagliardi, BSC

10.30 - 11.00  End user gateway for climate services and data initiatives - Antonio Cofiño, Universidad de Cantabria

11.00 - 11.30  Coffee break

11.30 - 12.00  Meteo-climate data at JRC-Mars - Andrea Toreti, JRC

12.00 - 12.30  If all you have is a hammer… - Matteo De Felice, ENEA

12.30 - 12.45 Video interview of speakers about their views on the topic (videos to be published)

12.45 - 14.00 Lunch

14.00 - 15:00 Questions and debate

15:30 - 17:00 Roundtable


There seems to be a clear interest from the participants to this workshop in creating an Interest Group in the framework of the Research Data Alliance. We can also involve in the process a broader audience that, even if couldn’t be physically present at the workshop, showed a strong interest when we first contacted them. To be able to engage with industries and public funding, we should define very precise objectives for this Interest Group.

Some first solutions envisaged as targets for the Interest Group are:

  • the formulation of a precise list of requirements from the scientific communities in our domains of weather, climate and air quality in terms of computational requirements and advanced data management solutions to be provided to external entities.
  • raising awareness about the importance of metadata and how to define and create them in our particular community
  • promoting the integration of data management and software development in the evaluation of scientific projects and work.

Next steps/ongoing work

In all the outcomes from this first workshop and the work that will follow, we must keep as objective the RDA Plenary session organized in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center where most of the European and worldwide participants of RDA, both from industrial and academic sectors will be present. For this event, we should have a clear roadmap and list of requirements for this Interest Group.

The work of the different RDA Working and Interest Groups will have to be carefully analysed to avoid redundant work in our “Weather, Climate and Air Quality Interest Group”.

Meanwhile, a mailing list (***@***.***) and a website have been created to discuss the different issues and follow on with the work.

We will also consider a consultation of the industry to get input about their needs and requirements.

Finally, a Birds of a Feather about the interest group took place at the 7th RDA Plenary Meeting (Tokyo, Japan, 1-3 March 2016). The conclusions will be circulated among the participants of this workshop.

Download a copy of the report

PDF icon Summary_BSC_workshop_RDA_IG.pdf564.5 KB