Global Lambda Integrated Facility

ESSE: Environmental Scenario Search Engine




Russia:Russian Academy of Sciences; Space Research Institute; Center of Geophysical Data Studies (collectively part of the Russian Data Intensive Group - RDIG)
United Kingdom: Microsoft Research, Cambridge
United States: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA; National Geophysics Data Center (NGDC); National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)


Environmental informatics is the integrated and authoritative representation of the natural environment in data management, access and analysis. The natural environment includes elements from multiple domains, such as space, terrestrial weather, oceans and terrain.

The Environmental Scenario Search Engine (ESSE) is a flexible, efficient and easy-to-use “natural language” search engine for mining environmental data archives; it is unique in that it searches inside numeric datasets.

With ESSE, scientists can find specific parameter values, conditions, and scenarios among the huge amount of available environmental data. ESSE is currently used to search the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) weather reanalysis data archive, and provides basic visualization capabilities, including time-series plots, 3D animations, and remote-sensing satellite images.

IDEAS, the Investigation of Distributed Environmental Archives System, is a networked, distributed software system that enables users to interact with archives of environmental data for the purpose of scenario extraction, data analysis and integration with existing models that require environmental input. IDEAS uses the ESSE search tool to enable users to look for specific environmental scenarios in vast archives.

A major goal of the international geoscience community is to develop a predictive Earth science system to help sustain Earth habitability, improve environmental quality, safeguard human health, and reduce the impacts of natural disasters. Using cyberinfrastructure, the geosciences have the capability to produce comprehensive information systems for decision markers in the government, public and private sectors that can reduce vulnerability of countries, economies, and individuals to climate changes, severe weather, and space weather hazards, and can support efficient operation and effective resource management.

A 1 Gbps VLAN from NOAA to StarLight (via NLR), from StarLight to NetherLight (via TransLight/StarLight-GLORIAD), and from NetherLight to MoscowLight and Russia’s Space Research Institute (via RBnet) was configured on 1 August 2007 for IDEAS/ESSE collaboration.