Tracing Global Change Science Back to the Source
USGCRP’s novel Global Change Information System builds on prior agency investments and is designed to support traceability between multiple environmental data streams—such as observations from sensors and output from models—and the resulting scientific reports. This system creates an open environment for users to access machine-readable information and trace user-friendly products back to the supporting science. As an important first step and proof-of-concept, the GCIS provides this traceability and documentation for references in the Third National Climate Assessment (see related Highlight 9) and datasets used in the Assessment’s climate science chapter.
As a structured data server (SDS), the GCIS identifies and links various components of the Assessment, such as findings, graphics, and supporting data, to make its underpinnings accessible. This not only strengthens credibility, but also helps users to discover related resources. The long-term vision for the GCIS involves enhancing capabilities to support future assessments and growing into a unified information source for scientists, decision makers, and the interested public. The GCIS SDS is designed to serve data to various web platforms and has been released as open-source code, enabling others to use it in support of similar activities. To learn more, visit: data.globalchange.gov