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Building Arctic Science Capacity: Establishing an Arctic Climate Data Node in Alaska

Active Dates 8/15/2021-8/14/2026
Program Area Data Management
Project Description
Building Arctic Science Capacity: Establishing an Arctic Climate Data Node in Alaska 

Scott Rupp, University of Alaska Fairbanks (Principle Investigator) 

Abstract. The Arctic has warmed at more than twice the rate of the global average, which is driving pronounced changes to the cryosphere, hydrology, disturbance regimes, vegetation dynamics, and biogeochemistry across the region. Global Climate Models (GCM) and Earth System Models (ESM) represent important tools to better understand these changes and provide information on the trajectories and magnitude of possible future changes, but the model data present both computational and storage challenges due to the extremely large size of the datasets. National resources, such as the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), exist to facilitate working with such large and complex data. However, Arctic regions like Alaska experience additional challenges accessing and working with model data due to physical distance and bandwidth limitations. Developing and establishing research infrastructure to support local storage and access to key GCM and ESM datasets will serve to build Arctic science capacity in Alaska and more broadly. 

This project will establish an Arctic Climate Data Node (ACDN) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). The ACDN will provide local access to Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) data and include associated computational resources required to facilitate data transfer, analysis, and evaluation activities as well as aid in the development of new derived data products. The ACDN will establish a new 4 PB storage environment connected to UAF’s High Performance Computing cluster (named Chinook). ACDN’s storage environment will maximize connection speeds to UAF’s Science DMZ including future proposed access via a data transfer node hooked up to a 100 Gb/s internal network. 

The ACDN will be established as part of UAF’s Arctic Data Collaborative (ARDAC) and will serve to increase Arctic science capacity at both UAF and the broader Arctic research community. CMIP6 model analysis and evaluation will inform model selection and associated research activities across a suite of disciplinary topics and research activities. The ACDN and ARDAC will ultimately provide stakeholder access to actionable science via derived data products, models, tools, and associated information. The ACDN supports the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program mission and specifically supports the Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences subprogram major research objective to develop, evaluate and analyze complex models of Earth and environmental systems, in order to understand trends, variability, change, and patterns of extremes, including improved understanding of system component interactions and co-evolution of the systems.
Award Recipient(s)
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks (PI: Rupp, T.)