Organization: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Research Title: Geosystem Databases (GEODATA)

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 1.5
FY95 1.4
FY96 1.4

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Subcommittee (100%) NSTC Committee on Fundamental Science
(b) Environmental Issue: Climate change (25%); Natural variability (75%) (c) Research Activity: Data Management

Organizational Component:
Directorates for Geoscience and Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Division of Atmospheric Sciences
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230

Point of Contact:
Jay Fein
Phone: 703-306-1527
E-Mail: jfein@nsf.gov

Research Goals:
To support the development of global change-related data and information and their efficient and effective use by researchers.

Research Description:
Geosystems Databases (GEODATA) consists of a sustained effort, in cooperation with other science agencies, to assemble, document, archive and disseminate long-term global synoptic data needed to understand global change processes and to develop and validate climate system models. A major emphasis is to enable scientists to access and manage large, complex data sets as well as information from value-added products. A variety of projects are involved, including database building (directly from observations as well as from observations assimilated with state-of-the-art atmospheric and oceanic models), data set documentation, information-system management, mass storage technology, and intercomparisons of in situ validation information data with observations from space. These data projects accompany the science they serve, with explicit links to climate analysis and diagnostics research. Researching new techniques for managing large, complex data sets and standards for general archiving of value-added or derived subsets of raw data is also supported. GEODATA supports global change data assembly and processing activities at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). NSF participates in the multi-agency Interagency Working Group on Data Management for Global Change (IWGDMGC), whose goal is the implementation of a national Global Change Data and Information System (GCDIS) that is consistent across agencies and supports universities and other user communities. GEODATA is an NSF contribution to the IWGDMGC program and will be carried out within the framework of that program

Program Interfaces:
The NSF GEODATA initiative benefits U.S. and international global change researchers, and other users studying global change problems who require easily accessible, high quality, well documented data and information. This initiative complements the data management activities of the other IWGDMGC agencies and benefits those agencies through the high-priority global change data sets provided to public archives by NSF-supported PI's.

Program Milestones:
(1) Become a component of a national Global Change Data and Information System (GCDIS) that is consistent across agencies and that supports universities and other user communities by 1996. (2) Complete compilation of multi-decade, global climate databases and integrated paleoclimatic data sets covering the past 500 years of Earth history by the end of 1997.

Policy Payoffs:
Policy payoffs and products are of short-term and long term nature. Short-term products include multi-decadal global climate data set of unprecedented scope and quality integrated with paleoclimatic data sets having information on the past 500 years of Earth history. Scientists will be able to provide assessments of global changes based on the longer and more accurate records of environmental history found in these integrated data sets, along with the other individual data sets, e.g., surface marine data sets. Longer-term payoffs include NSF's full participation in the national GCDIS, through NCAR's data center and through the provision of relevant data and information from NSF-funded research projects to the GCDIS. The ease of identifying and accessing data and information provided by the GCDIS which is relevant to global change issues will stimulate and accelerate the progress in the science and the assessment of global environmental change.