problems regarding archiving, accessibility, and documentation of the group's results, and relating to the integrity and reproducibility of the group's modeling experiments. Typically, the published data of modelers consists of figures, processed data, and tables of area averaged, depth-integrated, time-smoothed data. Due primarily to size constraints, the computer output is not available for further analysis. In addition, the source code for the models themselves is not easily reproduced. Even scientists based at the same institutions who repeat a model run frequently report different results from some unknown combination of code evolution, change in personnel, migration of computer platforms and data storage, or lack of proper documentation of parameters. To address this problem, which risks compromising the scientific effort, the Climate Modeling Group launched a comprehensive, web-based procedure for ensuring the integrity of local GCM runs. Data can be supplied over the internet through the Distributed Oceano-graphic Data System (DODS) to the whole community. In addition, all necessary documentation, source code, and initialization and forcing data can be stored in one place. The creation and maintenance of this Climate Model Data Documentation Project has achieved a new standard for this type of research. All new published modeling results in the group will be added to this project. Existing projects will also be added to this effort.
The Climate Modeling Group has created the "Reduced Space Optimal Analysis for Historical Datasets: 136 years of Global Sea Surface Temperatures." This analysis uses present-day temperature patterns to enhance the meager data available in the past. The group also manages the Climate Data Library, which includes over 300 datasets from a variety of Earth science disciplines and climate-related topics. Through this facility, users are granted access to any number of datasets, they can create analyses of data ranging from simple averaging to more advanced Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analyses, they can monitor present climate conditions with maps and analyses in the Maproom, they can create visual representations of data, including animations, and they can download data in a variety of commonly-used formats, including Geographic Information Systems- (GIS) compatible formats.
The group also monitors the phenomena of El Niño/Southern Oscillation. Researchers expect drought to worsen in the Plains and the West of the United States over the next several years because of La Niña-like conditions. Using observations and models, LDEO scientists learned that all the major dry and wet events in the American West since the late 19th century were forced by slowing varying tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Climate Modeling Group scientists have shown how decadal variations of these SSTs are predictable to a modest degree a few years in advance. According to them, the American West might be entering one of the most serious period of drought since European settlement. The group's research in the area also includes predicting if rising greenhouse gases will induce an El Niño-like response, causing increased precipitation over the American West, or a La Niña-like response, causing less precipitation over the American West in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
sEE ALso: Climate Models; Climate Change, Effects; Columbia University; El Niño and La Niña.
BIBLIoGRAPHY. Climate Modeling and Diagnostics Group http://rainbow.ldeo.columbia.edu. (cited December 2007); Michael A. Toman and Brent Sohngen, Climate Change (Ashgate Publishing, 2004).
Luca Prono University of Nottingham
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