A Cold Regions Information Service Approach for Societal Benefits
submitted to AOS2018, Davos
1. GEO Cold Regions Initiative
Earth’s Cold Regions, covering the Arctic, Antarctic, high-latitude oceans, Himalaya-Third Pole, and mountain cold areas, are experiencing the fastest rate of climate, ecological and environmental change, which severely affect the entire Earth System. These changes have impacts on more than one hundred countries and on the people living therein, and they also influence many aspects of society and economic development in all parts of the world. Aiming to implement the vision of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) to address the global environmental change, and its resulting impacts and challenges, the Cold Regions Initiative (GEOCRI) was established to broaden and share Earth observations. GEOCRI will develop a user-driven approach for Cold Regions information services to strengthen synergies and foster collaboration at a global scale, providing coordinated information services across a range of stakeholders to facilitate well-informed decisions and support sustainable development.
2. Information Service Approach
GEOCRI is taking an Information Service Approach to cover the eight Societal Benefit Areas identified by GEO: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sustainability, Disaster Resilience, Energy and Mineral Resources Management, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, Infrastructure and Transportation Management, Public Health Surveillance, Sustainable Urban Development, Water Resources Management and support the global policy. This will ultimately lead to a decision policy supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , the Paris Agreement and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
A Big Earth data-product-information-SBA-Global Policies procedure, the Data Value Chain, provides a data- and knowledge-based value-added chain for an information services mechanism (Fig.1). The GEOSS system and its portal, also connected to a database federation will provide the necessary information basis. Data federation will be organized in strict cooperation with other initiatives, in particular those developed by IASC, WMO and SAON through the Arctic Data Committee (ADC), to take into account the complex and disperse panorama of in polar data repositories/organizations/portals. Also starting from information background, essential cold regions variables will be identified through the domain experts corresponding to the SBAs. Together with them a higher system of indicators will be identified/discussed to directly support the modelling system on the SBAs and global policies.
Fig.1 Data Value Chain : an Cold Regions Information Service Approach for Societal Benefits
The Data Value Chain incorporates the entire information services process. It integrates the data providers and data users, transforming data driven information and knowledge in algorithm, including the emerging Big Earth Data, Deep Learning techniques, tools and products for decision makers. Combination of open access satellite data, in-situ observations and modelling prediction is fundamental for this chain and should/will be largely explored in order to identify all potentialities for societal benefits areas.
3. Implementation Developments
The GEOCRI initiative includes infrastructure networking, a data federation system, essential variable identification, and best practices for the selected SBA priorities covering the cold regions. The Implementation Plan of GEOCRI is grouped into five tasks: Infrastructures, Monitoring Network and Data, In-situ and Remote Sensing Integration, User Engagement and Capacity Building, and Management and Monitoring. A co-lead group was established to envision and implement this aim.
Recent key developments and synergy activities for implementing this information approach in GEOCRI include, but are not limited to:
Improved understanding and collaboration across the Earth’s Cold Regions, together with data sharing and its federation mechanism, efficient information flow, better-integrated observing capacity, will help to assist timely and effective decision-making to reach societal benefits and support sustainable development in these regions and beyond.
What happens in the cold regions affects the entire Earth System and humankind across the globe. The GEOCRI’s international observation science collaboration and understanding of the Earth’s Cold Regions, and information service provide an endeavour for a better society.