Data sharing portal created by SPECS

(c) SPECS | The European Climate Observations, Modelling and Services initiative (​ECOMS) coordinates the activities of three ongoing European projects (​​EUPORIAS, ​SPECS and ​NACLIM). Different activities carried out in these projects require seasonal forecasts from state-or-the-art forecasting systems (e.g. NCEP/CFSv2 or ECMWF/System4) for a reduced number of variables. This information can be obtained directly from the data providers, but the resulting formats, aggregations and vocabularies may not be homogeneous across datasets, thus requiring some post processing. Moreover, different data policies hold for the various datasets —which are freely available only in some cases— and therefore data access may not be straightforward. Thus, obtaining seasonal climate forecast data is typically a time consuming task.

As part of the data management activities in these projects, the ECOMS User Data Gateway (ECOMS-UDG) has been developed by the ​Santander MetGroup in order to facilitate seasonal forecasting data access to end users. The needed variables have been downloaded from data providers and locally stored in a THREDDS data server implementing fine-grained user authorization (see the available datasets and variables). Thus, users can efficiently retrieve the subsets best suited to their particular research aims (for particular regions, periods and/or ensemble members) from a large volumen of information. Since ​​R has been adopted for a number of tasks in these projects (validation, downscaling, etc.), an R package for data exploration and access has been developed (ecomsUDG.Raccess) and additional functionalities will be developed to meet the users' needs. Moreover, a number of alternative tools are being develop in order to provide different user-friendly interfaces for accessing the information (Python, Matlab, web portals, ... ).