Web services are a way to utilize scattered resources, collect and deliver information, and manage transactions across computing networks that may be distributed, heterogeneous, and vast. They offer effortless access; anyone who reads a blog or makes a purchase on the internet relies on web protocols. Traditional high performance computing, on the other hand, typically requires highly trained users, who run arcane code on masses of tightly interconnected processors behind firewalls. Web services have the potential to bridge the gap between these worlds, and address an emerging issue relevant to NOAA and other agencies: how to integrate projections from high performance climate models with the tools used by local resource managers.
The option to implement a variety of models as web services was implemented in the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF). ESMF is based on the idea of components, which may represent physical domains such as the atmosphere, ocean, or cryosphere, or specific processes such as ocean biogeochemistry. These components have a standard interface that includes a specification of input fields, output fields, and time information. When running on high performance computing systems, ESMF components are usually called as subroutines of a main program. With ESMF web services, the components can be run on multiple computer systems, and can communicate with each other through web protocols.
ESMF web services are currently comprised of a set of SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) interfaces implemented using a combination of Apache Tomcat, Axis2, and custom Java classes. The SOAP services provide the gateway between the ESMF components and the Internet.
ESMF web services are being used in a Hydrology-Climate Modeling System pilot project.
Earth System CoG Sponsors and Partners
CoG was developed under grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and in partnership with the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Infrastructure for the European Network for Earth System Modeling project, which is supported by the European Union. Data archive and search is provided by the Earth System Grid Federation.