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FRIEND-Water P3 Workshop/training series - Session 3 "Climate analysis in R"
Climate analysis in R [Dr. R. Benestad; NMI, Norway]

Since the assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the ongoing global warming and associated climate change, there has been an increased effort in observing and modelling the state of earth's climate and how the climate system responds to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This growing effort into understanding our climate has been accompanied by increasing volumes of data of various kind, and we realised in the early 2000s that we needed some analytical tools to extract salient information from all this data so that we can understand it all. Furthermore, the global climate models (GCMs) were not designed to provide detailed information needed locally for climate change adaptation, and there was a need to downscale the climate information.

We started developing a comprehensive tool based on the R-environment that was meant to support a flexible and comprehensive climate analysis that involved concepts such as data processing, diagnostics, evaluation, empirical-statistical downscaling (ESD), and the provision of infographics. To do this efficiently, we realised that it would have to involve the use of 'smart data' whereby metadata follows the data itself and 'housekeeping' where its processing is tracked through a provenance scheme. In other words, we should not spend hours or days reformatting or fighting with data when it could be done in seconds instead. The first phase of this work involved developing the R-package 'clim.pact', but it was then superseded by 'esd' (https://github.com/metno/esd) where we took all the lessons learned from the first phase and started from scratch. One advantage of using R-packages was that they provided a way to include both documentation as well as sample data so that the tool was transportable.

Jun 8, 2022 02:30 PM in London

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