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EarthCube All Hands Meeting
June 7 - June 9
Nick McKay will be giving a poster featuring LinkedEarth on Thursday, June 8th from 12 to 1:30pm.
LinkedEarth: Supporting Paleoclimate Research with Semantic Web Technologies and Community Curation
Abstract: Paleoclimate observations are curcial to assessing current climate change in the context of past variations. However, these observations often come in non-standard formats, forcing paleogeoscientists to spend a significant fraction of their time searching for and accessing data, or structuring data before they can do science. This waste of resources hinders reuse and hence lowers the value of the datasets to scientists and society alike. In the 21st centur, we can do better.
The EarthCube-supported LinkedEarth project aims to manifest a better future by creating an online platform that (1) enables the curation of a publicly-accessible database by paleoclimate experts themselves, and (2) fosters the development of community standards. In turn, these developments enable cutting-edge data-analytic tools to be built and applied to a wider array of datasets than ever possible before, supporting more rigorous assessments of the magnitude and rates of pre-industrial climate change.
The LinkedEarth project targets several case studies of how crowd-curated paleoclimate datasets are developed and analyzed to inform our understanding of the climate system, and to place modern climate change in the context of natural variability. First, we describe the process of collaboration and iterative development of the Past Global Changes past 2,000 years project (PAGES2k), how emerging cyberinfrastructure both supported the project, and where our activities identified unmet needs. Secondly, we describe how paleoclimate observations that cover the past 10,000 years are used along with analysis tools such as Pyleoclim and GeoChronR to quantify regional Holocene climate evolution and its uncertainties. Lastly, we also demonstrate how the LinkedEarth platform can help put those tools in the hands of every paleoclimatologist, enable more efficient data curation via semantic web technologies and crowdsourcing, and support broader data syntheses that easily integrate published information.