Jonah Bloch-Johnson leads MCRN Climate Data Hackathon

Today, the second day of the MCRN Junior Researchers Meeting, we all got to do some hacking---getting hands-on experience with data sets, how to manipulate them, and how to get information out of them. The program was put together by Jonah Bloch-Johnson and Daniel Knoll. The data sets that were made available at the meeting were Argo (ocean temperature and salinity), CERES (TOA energy fluxes), ERA40 (sea level pressure), ISCCP (clouds), GPCP (precipitation), NCEP (atmosphere), and NSIDC (sea ice).

In the morning session, Daniel introduced us to Python, Jonah showed how to access the various data sets, and Sarah Iams discussed the ins and outs of spatial time series analysis. After lunch, Malte Stuecker had us all install Ferret, an interactive computer visualization and analysis environment developed by NOAA for analyzing large and complex gridded data sets. Then we worked in small teams to explore the various data sets and do some experimenting. At the end of the afternoon we were invited to report on the results. For example, one team figured out how Ferret computes global averages from an array of latitude-longitude data. Another team investigated correlations between precipitation and outgoing long-wave radiation, and between precipitation and ocean surface salinity. Several teams explored the sea ice data sets to see how the extent of sea ice has varied over the past decades, and to see whether there was any correlation with ocean salinity.

Click for more information on the MCRN Climate Data Hackathon.

Thank you to Hans Kaper for the summary!


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