Posted Fri, 26/01/2018
The WorkshopThe first C3S Data Rescue Service Capacity Building Workshop took place jointly with the 10th ACRE workshop at NIWA, Auckland, New Zealand from 4th-8th December 2017. This was a five day workshop bringing together experts and newcomers in the field of climate data rescue with a regional focus on the Southwest Pacific. The aim was to present the state of data rescue, including available tools and support and build a regional network in support of the C3S funded ACRE Antarctica project. Joining with the 10th ACRE workshop brought in additional funding extending the workshop to five days and enabling a wider attendence of both experts and newcomers. The scope of the meeting was thus extended beyond the focus region of the Southwest Pacific.
ParticipantsIn total there were 46 participants. In addition to 12 C3S partners there were 15 people from Australia and New Zealand, 6 people from Pacific Island NMSs, 5 people from the wider Southern Hemisphere, 2 from Japan, 1 from China and 5 from Europe and the USA. WMO funding supported 4 participants, funding from NIWA supported a further 5 participants and funding from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology supported 6 participants. The talks were streamed online through GoToMeeting and had up to 5 remote attendees. Some talks were also presented remotely.
C3S TalksThe C3S talks were a mix of Data Rescue Service overviews, examples of data rescue projects in the region and educational talks on undertaking data and rescue and available tools. C3S presentation slides are available here. There were also 3 interactive sessions where tools were demonstrated in addition to tools presented in the other talks. All tools were made available here and participants had the opportunity at the end of each day to have a go at using the tools with experts on hand to help. These included digitisation, indices calculation and analysis tools. There was also a discussion session where participants discussed how to improve the state of data rescue and build data rescue networks. The discussion notes are here.
ACRE TalksThe ACRE talks provided detailed updates on all of the many regional ACRE data rescue projects. These projects combine the work of scientists, historians, archivists, NMSs and also volunteers. They show-case the wealth of potential data to be rescued, notably from early settlement missions, expeditions and early international trade. They also show the huge diversity in types of data and methods of rescuing. Some talks also highlighted the high value end-products for the rescued data such as the 20th Century Reanalysis. A keynote talk covered climate monitoring more generally and the impact of data rescue on our ability to monitor and understand the climate.
Discussion SummaryThe discussion session was very useful and brought forward great ideas on how to progress with data rescue adn build networks. The key objectives are:
- to regularly and formally document progress. What has been/could be rescued? Who has done what? A golden list rather than name and shame. This can be done through web portals and publications e.g. State of Data Rescue reports, IPCC.
- to engage with potential data rescuers (NMSs, archivists, researchers etc). We need to show why we need to rescue data and what value there is in historical data for a country/region.
- to provide support and network build. We need to share how can projects be set up and how can data be discovered, catalogued, archived, scanned, digitised, quality checked, shared and used.
- to promote regional collaboration. Sharing data enables region wide analysis which provides greater understanding and stronger climate policy/adaptation strategy.
- to get on with it. Much has been done already on very little money. We should continue this approach in addition to seeking sustainable international support.
Workshop OutcomesThe workshop was a success. Initial feedback was very positive. Participants, both experts and newcomers, learned a lot about current data rescue projects, potential sources of data rescue and available tools and their strengths and weaknesses.
It was very valuable to make contact with all of the regional attendees, particularly representatives from many of the Pacific Island NMSs and learn about their experience of historical climate data. The drivers and obstacles around data rescue are diverse and complex for different parties. We need to understand each others perspectives and capabilities.
While the C3S Data Rescue Service portal, registry and tools are still under development it was still very useful to deliver material on the current status. This gives people somewhere to look for help in the near future and a forum of experts/colleagues to call on for advice and support. It has also allowed the C3S partners to learn more about what is needed and how best to implement it. The field of climate data rescue is small and receives little funding yet the scale of the problem is large and highly diverse and complex.
There is no easy one-size-fits-all solution and so personal engagement is essential. We need to make this difficult problem as tangible and simple as possible to enable people to undertake data rescue and make sure that it is a complete end-to-end process of discovery, archiving, scanning and digitising and quality checking and passing the data into secure publically available archives. It takes a lot of effort to undertake data rescue and it is important not to put people off or lose people along the way.
The C3S Data Rescue Service stands to provide an invaluable facility to organise and help undertake data rescue. However, personal contact and support is really important and this Capacity Building workshop gave that opportunity for the Southwest Pacific. This has given huge impetus to the C3S funded ACRE Antartica project thanks to the workshop itself and the ability for partners to meet face-to-face.
Finally, this workshop was also an opportunity for many of the C3S partners to meet face-to-face and discuss project progress and future plans in more detail than is possible remotely.
Things to note for the next Capacity Building WorkshopThe mix of both regional and global attendees provided a good overall perspective on the ongoing and potential data rescue projects. Bringing together experts and newcomers was of value to both parties. We gave each participant the opportunity to introduce themselves and their area of interest on the first day which helped people to get to know each other as did having plenty of time for discussion both formally and over coffee/lunch.
The range of talks covering both tools and anecdotal experiences kept everyone interested. The field trip on the middle day was a great way to learn more about local historical climate and data rescue activities and break from presentations. Linking with the ACRE meeting significantly widened the scope and participation of the meeting.
Future meetings could benefit from a stronger section on training in the tools available. This will be easier to achieve as there will be more tools and services available through the C3S Data Rescue Service website at that time. The Interactive Sessions and optional hands-on time at the end of each day were a nice idea but could be more useful with more time to develop material in advance of the meeting. The discussion session was very useful and should be done again, perhaps on a range of topics.