skip to main content

Title: GHub : Building a glaciology gateway to unify a community

There is no consensus on how quickly the earth's ice sheets are melting due to global warming, nor on the ramifications to sea level rise. Due to its potential effects on coastal populations and global economies, sea level rise is a grave concern, making ice melt rates an important area of study. The ice‐sheet science community consists of two groups that perform related but distinct kinds of research: a data community, and a model building community. The data community characterizes past and current states of the ice sheets by assembling data from field and satellite observations. The modeling community forecasts the rate of ice‐sheet decline with computational models validated against observations. Although observational data and models depend on one another, these two groups are not well integrated. Better coordination between data collection efforts and modeling efforts is imperative if we are to improve our understanding of ice sheet loss rates. We present a new science gateway,GHub, a collaboration space for ice sheet scientists. This web‐accessible gateway will host datasets and modeling workflows, and provide access to codes that enable tool building by the ice sheet science community. Using GHub, we will collect and centralize existing datasets, creating data products that more completely catalog the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. We will build workflows for model validation and uncertainty quantification, extending existing ice sheet models. Finally, we will host existing community codes, enabling scientists to build new tools utilizing them. With this new cyberinfrastructure, ice sheet scientists will gain integrated tools to quantify the rate and extent of sea level rise, benefitting human societies around the globe.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
2004826 2125974 2004302
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. As we look to the future of natural history collections and a global integration of biodiversity data, we are reliant on a diverse workforce with the skills necessary to build, grow, and support the data, tools, and resources of the Digital Extended Specimen (DES; Webster 2019, Lendemer et al. 2020, Hardisty 2020). Future “DES Data Curators” – those who will be charged with maintaining resources created through the DES – will require skills and resources beyond what is currently available to most natural history collections staff. In training the workforce to support the DES we have an opportunity to broaden our community and ensure that, through the expansion of biodiversity data, the workforce landscape itself is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible. A fully-implemented DES will provide training that encapsulates capacity building, skills development, unifying protocols and best practices guidance, and cutting-edge technology that also creates inclusive, equitable, and accessible systems, workflows, and communities. As members of the biodiversity community and the current workforce, we can leverage our knowledge and skills to develop innovative training models that: include a range of educational settings and modalities; address the needs of new communities not currently engaged with digital data; from their onset, provide attribution for past and future work and do not perpetuate the legacy of colonial practices and historic inequalities found in many physical natural history collections. Recent reports from the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN 2019) and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2020) specifically address workforce needs in support of the DES. To address workforce training and inclusivity within the context of global data integration, the Alliance for Biodiversity Knowledge included a topic on Workforce capacity development and inclusivity in Phase 2 of the consultation on Converging Digital Specimens and Extended Specimens - Towards a global specification for data integration. Across these efforts, several common themes have emerged relative to workforce training and the DES. A call for a community needs assessment: As a community, we have several unknowns related to the current collections workforce and training needs. We would benefit from a baseline assessment of collections professionals to define current job responsibilities, demographics, education and training, incentives, compensation, and benefits. This includes an evaluation of current employment prospects and opportunities. Defined skills and training for the 21st century collections professional: We need to be proactive and define the 21st century workforce skills necessary to support the development and implementation of the DES. When we define the skills and content needs we can create appropriate training opportunities that include scalable materials for capacity building, educational materials that develop relevant skills, unifying protocols across the DES network, and best practices guidance for professionals. Training for data end-users: We need to train data end-users in biodiversity and data science at all levels of formal and informal education from primary and secondary education through the existing workforce. This includes developing training and educational materials, creating data portals, and building analyses that are inclusive, accessible, and engage the appropriate community of science educators, data scientists, and biodiversity researchers. Foster a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible and professional workforce: As the DES develops and new tools and resources emerge, we need to be intentional in our commitment to building tools that are accessible and in assuring that access is equitable. This includes establishing best practices to ensure the community providing and accessing data is inclusive and representative of the diverse global community of potential data providers and users. Upfront, we must acknowledge and address issues of historic inequalities and colonial practices and provide appropriate attribution for past and future work while ensuring legal and regulatory compliance. Efforts must include creating transparent linkages among data and the humans that create the data that drives the DES. In this presentation, we will highlight recommendations for building workforce capacity within the DES that are diverse, inclusive, equitable and accessible, take into account the requirements of the biodiversity science community, and that are flexible to meet the needs of an evolving field. 
    more » « less
  2. Many research codes assume a user’s proficiency with high-performance computing tools, which often hinders their adoption by a community of users. Our goal is to create a user-friendly gateway to allow such users to leverage new ca- pabilities brought forward to the fracture mechanics community by the phase-field approach to fracture, implemented in the open source code vDef. We leveraged popular existing tools for building such frame- works: Agave, Django, and Docker, to build a Science Gateway that allows a user to submit a large number of jobs at once. We use the Agave framework to run jobs and handle all communications with the high-performance computers, as well as data sharing and tracking of provenance. Django was used to create a web application. Docker provided an easily deployable image of the system, simplifying setup by the user. The result is a system that masks all interactions with the high- performance computing environment and provides a graphical interface that makes sense for scientists. In the common situation of parameter sweeps our gateway also helps the scientists comparing outputs of various computations using a matrix view that links to individual computations. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    The marine-based West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is currently locally retreating because of shifting wind-driven oceanic currents that transport warm waters toward the ice margin, resulting in ice shelf thinning and accelerated mass loss. Previous results from geologic drilling on Antarctica’s continental margins show significant variability in ice sheet extent during the late Neogene and Quaternary. Climate and ice sheet models indicate a fundamental role for oceanic heat in controlling ice sheet variability over at least the past 20 My. Although evidence for past ice sheet variability is available from ice-proximal marine settings, sedimentary sequences from the continental shelf and rise are required to evaluate the extent of past ice sheet variability and the associated forcings and feedbacks. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 374 drilled a latitudinal and depth transect of five sites from the outer continental shelf to rise in the central Ross Sea to resolve Neogene and Quaternary relationships between climatic and oceanic change and WAIS evolution. The Ross Sea was targeted because numerical ice sheet models indicate that this sector of Antarctica responds sensitively to changes in ocean heat flux. Expedition 374 was designed for optimal data-model integration to enable an improved understanding of Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) mass balance during warmer-than-present climates (e.g., the Pleistocene “super interglacials,” the mid-Pliocene, and the Miocene Climatic Optimum). The principal goals of Expedition 374 were to: 1. Evaluate the contribution of West Antarctica to far-field ice volume and sea level estimates; 2. Reconstruct ice-proximal oceanic and atmospheric temperatures to quantify past polar amplification; 3. Assess the role of oceanic forcing (e.g., temperature and sea level) on AIS variability; 4. Identify the sensitivity of the AIS to Earth’s orbital configuration under a variety of climate boundary conditions; and 5. Reconstruct Ross Sea paleobathymetry to examine relationships between seafloor geometry, ice sheet variability, and global climate. To achieve these objectives, postcruise studies will: 1. Use data and models to reconcile intervals of maximum Neogene and Quaternary ice advance and retreat with far-field records of eustatic sea level; 2. Reconstruct past changes in oceanic and atmospheric temperatures using a multiproxy approach; 3. Reconstruct Neogene and Quaternary sea ice margin fluctuations and correlate these records to existing inner continental shelf records; 4. Examine relationships among WAIS variability, Earth’s orbital configuration, oceanic temperature and circulation, and atmospheric pCO2; and 5. Constrain the timing of Ross Sea continental shelf overdeepening and assess its impact on Neogene and Quaternary ice dynamics. Expedition 374 departed from Lyttelton, New Zealand, in January 2018 and returned in March 2018. We recovered 1292.70 m of high-quality core from five sites spanning the early Miocene to late Quaternary. Three sites were cored on the continental shelf (Sites U1521, U1522, and U1523). At Site U1521, we cored a 650 m thick sequence of interbedded diamictite and diatom-rich mudstone penetrating seismic Ross Sea Unconformity 4 (RSU4). The depositional reconstructions of past glacial and open-marine conditions at this site will provide unprecedented insight into environmental change on the Antarctic continental shelf during the late early and middle Miocene. At Site U1522, we cored a discontinuous late Miocene to Pleistocene sequence of glacial and glaciomarine strata from the outer shelf with the primary objective of penetrating and dating RSU3, which is interpreted to reflect the first continental shelf–wide expansion of East and West Antarctic ice streams. Site U1523, located on the outer continental shelf, targeted a sediment drift beneath the westward-flowing Antarctic Slope Current (ASC) to test the hypothesis that changes in ASC vigor regulate ocean heat flux onto the continental shelf and thus ice sheet mass balance. We also cored two sites on the continental rise and slope. At Site U1524, we recovered a Plio–Pleistocene sedimentary sequence from the levee of the Hillary Canyon, one of the largest conduits of Antarctic Bottom Water from the continental shelf to the abyssal ocean. Site U1524 was designed to penetrate into middle Miocene and older strata, but coring was initially interrupted by drifting sea ice that forced us to abandon coring in Hole U1524A at 399.5 m drilling depth below seafloor (DSF). We moved to a nearby alternate site on the continental slope (Site U1525) to core a single hole designed to complement the record at Site U1524. We returned to Site U1524 after the sea ice cleared and cored Hole U1524C with the rotary core barrel system with the intention of reaching the target depth of 1000 m DSF. However, we were forced to terminate Hole U1524C at 441.9 m DSF because of a mechanical failure with the vessel that resulted in termination of all drilling operations and forced us to return to Lyttelton 16 days earlier than scheduled. The loss of 39% of our operational days significantly impacted our ability to achieve all Expedition 374 objectives. In particular, we were not able to recover continuous middle Miocene sequences from the continental rise designed to complement the discontinuous record from continental shelf Site U1521. The mechanical failure also meant we could not recover cores from proposed Site RSCR-19A, which was targeted to obtain a high-fidelity, continuous record of upper Neogene and Quaternary pelagic/hemipelagic sedimentation. Despite our failure to recover a continental shelf-to-rise Miocene transect, records from Sites U1522, U1524, and U1525 and legacy cores from the Antarctic Geological Drilling Project (ANDRILL) can be integrated to develop a shelf-to-rise Plio–Pleistocene transect. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is largely marine based and thus highly sensitive to both climatic and oceanographic changes. Therefore, the WAIS has likely had a very dynamic history over the last several million years. A complete collapse of the WAIS would result in a global sea level rise of 3.3–4.3 m, yet the world’s scientific community is not able to predict its future behavior. Moreover, knowledge about past behavior of the WAIS is poor, in particular during geological times with climatic conditions similar to those expected for the near and distant future. Reconstructions and quantifications of partial or complete WAIS collapses in the past are urgently needed for constraining and testing ice sheet models that aim to predict future WAIS behavior and the potential contribution of the WAIS to global sea level rise. Large uncertainties exist regarding the chronology, extent, rates, and spatial and temporal variability of past advances and retreats of the WAIS across the continental shelves. These uncertainties largely result from the fundamental lack of data from drill cores recovered proximal to the WAIS. The continental shelf and rise of the Amundsen Sea are prime targets for drilling because the records are expected to yield archives of pure WAIS dynamics unaffected by other ice sheets and the WAIS sector draining into the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) currently experiences the largest ice loss in Antarctica (Paolo et al., 2015). We propose a series of drill sites for the ASE shelf where seismic data reveal seaward-dipping sedimentary sequences that span from the preglacial depositional phase to the most recent glacial periods. Our strategy is to drill a transect from the oldest sequences close to the bedrock/basin boundary at the middle–inner shelf transition to the youngest sequences on the outer shelf in the eastern ASE. If the eastern ASE is inaccessible due to sea ice cover, a similar transect of sites can be drilled on the western ASE. The core transect will provide a detailed history of the glacial cycles in the Amundsen Sea region and allow comparison to the glacial history from the Ross Sea sector. In addition, deep-water sites on the continental rise of the Amundsen Sea are selected for recovering continuous records of glacially transported sediments and detailed archives of climatic and oceanographic changes throughout glacial–interglacial cycles. We will apply a broad suite of analytical techniques, including multiproxy analyses, to address our objectives of reconstructing the onset of glaciation in the greenhouse to icehouse transition, processes of dynamic ice sheet behavior during the Neogene and Quaternary, and ocean conditions associated with the glacial cycles. The five principal objectives of Expedition 379 are as follows: 1. To reconstruct the glacial history of West Antarctica from the Paleogene to recent times and the dynamic behavior of the WAIS during the Neogene and Quaternary, especially possible partial or full WAIS collapses, and the WAIS contribution to past sea level changes. Emphasis is placed in particular on studying the response of the WAIS at times when the pCO2 in Earth’s atmosphere exceeded 400 ppm and atmospheric and oceanic temperatures were higher than at present. 2. To correlate the WAIS-proximal records of ice sheet dynamics in the Amundsen Sea with global records of ice volume changes and proxy records for air and seawater temperatures. 3. To study the relationship between incursions of warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) onto the continental shelf of the Amundsen Sea Embayment and the stability of marine-based ice sheet margins under warm water conditions. 4. To reconstruct the processes of major WAIS advances onto the middle and outer shelf that are likely to have occurred since the middle Miocene and compare their timing and processes to those of other Antarctic continental shelves. 5. To identify the timing of the first ice sheet expansion onto the continental shelf of the ASE and its possible relationship to the uplift of Marie Byrd Land. 
    more » « less
  5. In today’s Big Data era, data scientists require modern workflows to quickly analyze large-scale datasets using complex codes to maintain the rate of scientific progress. These scientists often rely on available campus resources or off-the-shelf computational systems for their applications. Unified infrastructure or over-provisioned servers can quickly become bottlenecks for specific tasks, wasting time and resources. Composable infrastructure helps solve these problems by providing users with new ways to increase resource utilization. Composable infrastructure disaggregates a computer’s components – CPU, GPU (accelerators), storage and networking – into fluid pools of resources, but typically relies upon infrastructure engineers to architect individual machines. Infrastructure is either managed with specialized command-line utilities, user interfaces or specification files. These management models are cumbersome and difficult to incorporate into data-science workflows. We developed a high-level software API, Composastructure, which, when integrated into modern workflows, can be used by infrastructure engineers as well as data scientists to reorganize composable resources on demand. Composastructure enables infrastructures to be programmable, secure, persistent and reproducible. Our API composes machines, frees resources, supports multi-rack operations, and includes a Python module for Jupyter Notebooks. 
    more » « less