Web processing service for climate impact and extreme weather event analyses. Flyingpigeon (Version 1.0)
Analyses of extreme weather events and their impacts often requires big data processing of ensembles of climate model simulations. Researchers generally proceed by downloading the data from the providers and processing the data files “at home” with their own analysis processes. However, the growing amount of available climate model and observation data makes this procedure quite awkward. In addition, data processing knowledge is kept local, instead of being consolidated into a common resource of reusable code. These drawbacks can be mitigated by using a web processing service (WPS). A WPS hosts services such as data analysis processes that are accessible over the web, and can be installed close to the data archives. We developed a WPS named ‘flyingpigeon’ that communicates over an HTTP network protocol based on standards defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), to be used by climatologists and impact modelers as a tool for analyzing large datasets remotely. Here, we present the current processes we developed in flyingpigeon relating to commonly-used processes (preprocessing steps, spatial subsets at continent, country or region level, and climate indices) as well as methods for specific climate data analysis (weather regimes, analogues of circulation, segetal flora distribution, and species distribution models). We also developed a novel, browser-based interactive data visualization for circulation analogues, illustrating the flexibility of WPS in designing custom outputs. Bringing the software to the data instead of transferring the data to the code is becoming increasingly necessary, especially with the upcoming massive climate datasets.
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