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Revolutionizing Climate Data Access in Hawai‘i

The University of Hawai‘i Information Technology Services (ITS) Cyberinfrastructure team, the Hawai‘i Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Change HI project and the University of Hawai‘i Water Resource Research Center (WRCC) have recently partnered to transform the landscape of climate data accessibility in the Aloha State. 

Screenshot from the Jetsream2-housed Hawaiʻi Climate Data Portal for interactive visualization of downscaled climate projection showing a percent change map for rainfall projections for late-century climate scenario (2070-2099).

Credit: University of Hawaiʻi

At the heart of this initiative lies the Hawaiʻi Climate Data Portal (HCDP), a pioneering platform designed to provide seamless access to a diverse array of climate data and information tailored specifically for Hawai‘i. This portal hosts a treasure trove of high-resolution gridded products, including monthly rainfall and daily temperature data, which is updated in near-real-time. Additionally, it offers quality-controlled point datasets and future climate projections, empowering researchers, decision-makers and the community at large with invaluable insights into Hawai‘i's climate dynamics.

“Central to the success of the HCDP is our ACCESS allocation on Jetstream2, which has played a pivotal role in streamlining data acquisition, processing and dissemination workflows,” said Sean Cleveland, interim director of cyberinfrastructure for the University of Hawaiʻi ITS Department. “By leveraging the power of Jetstream2, the team has been able to generate regularly updated map products at daily and monthly intervals, filling a crucial gap in the availability of current climate mapping data for the region.”

Cleveland said that one of the most significant achievements of this initiative is the democratization of climate data access. He said that prior to this work, climate data in Hawai‘i was fragmented and difficult to access – hindering research efforts and impeding informed decision-making. With the launch of the HCDP on Jetstream2, researchers and stakeholders now have access to a wealth of historical and near-real-time climate analyses – enabling a myriad of applications from drought planning to wildfire management.

The impact of this transformative project extends far beyond the realm of academia. As the effects of climate change become increasingly pronounced, access to timely and accurate climate data is essential for effective adaptation and mitigation strategies. 

“By providing a centralized platform for accessing comprehensive climate information, the HCDP on Jetstream2 is empowering Hawai‘i's communities to respond proactively to the challenges posed by a changing climate,” Cleveland said. “In addition to its role in enhancing climate data accessibility, ACCESS allocations on Jetstream2 has also delivered tangible benefits in terms of cost and efficiency by providing an alternative to deploying local infrastructure or utilizing commercial cloud resources.”

Looking ahead, the team remains committed to advancing their mission of promoting climate resilience in Hawai‘i. With plans to continue operating the HCDP on Jetstream2, they aim to further expand the portal's capabilities – developing additional climate datasets and features to meet the evolving needs of researchers, agencies and communities across the islands.

“We encourage interested researchers in the West Hub region to reach out to the ACCESS Allocations team to learn more about utilizing similar resources for their projects,” said West Hub Director Ashley Atkins, who is also the Chief of Staff at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). “While Jetstream2 is one of several options for researchers to access when they need a supercomputer, there is also Expanse at SDSC, Bridges2 at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Delta at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and the list continues.”

The work is funded by NSF ACCESS grant no. ASC190026.


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