Bringing big data to climate research

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People normally don't think about big data when the rain falls, but with the mountains of data that is being generated in the search for answers and solutions to climate problems, many researchers nowadays turn to big data and cloud computing to give them the support and infrastructure they need to carry out accurat and wide-ranging work.

The oceans form a massive part of our climate system. In this article, the author intruduced Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), one of the ocean researcher groups which also adapt to this big data trend. OOI deploys a project that manage the vast amount of information which is being collected globally. A lot of this data comes from thousands of sensors that are in the sea, transmitting details of temperature, flow, salinity, etc. to data centers. OOI then use the cloud computing technology (EMC Chorus) to provide a scalable and flexible platform for big data harvesting and analysis that scientists can access and use regardless of  their current location, which allows different groups of people to collaborate in some areas and work stand-alone in others. 

This article really interested me and makes me think about information organization and retrieval, especially topics related to information relationship, structures and UIs for search and IR. In this article, the author also indicated some challenges OOI faced when developing this system, such as 1)how to provide the right infrastructure and tools to those scientests and researchers working on the project and dealing with the signigicant amounts of data, 2)how to provide the network not only a big data tool to record and store information, but also an interactive, response-driven setup that would allow scientists to react to events in the ocean, whether over the course of a few seconds or a much longer period, and 3)how to make data stored in different places (in this case, cloud server and location-specific servers) integrated and visualized efficiently.  I'm really looking forward to the rest of the course to find out the solutions applied to these challenges.