Thursday, July 21, 2011

80 percent of world climate data are not computerized

Oh, the data entry nightmare that awaits us! From PhysOrg: In order to gain a better knowledge of climate variations, such as those caused by global warming, and be able to tackle them, we need to understand what happened in the recent past. This is the conclusion of a research study led by the Rovira i Virgili University (URV), which shows that the scientific community today is only able to access and analyse 20% of the recorded climate information held. The remaining data are not accessible in digital format.

Some climate data in Europe go back to the 17th Century, but "not even 20% of the information recorded in the past is available to the scientific community", Manola Brunet, lead author of the study and a researcher at the URV's Centre for Climate Change, tells SINC.

This situation is even worse in continents such as Africa and South America, where weather observations did not begin until the middle of the 19th Century. These are the results of a study published in Climate Research, which highlights the need to urgently recover all the information recorded in perishable formats.

"Failure to decipher the messages in the climate records of the past will result in socioeconomic problems, because we will be unable to deal with the current and future impacts of climate change and a hotter world", says Brunet.

…Weather services in all countries are faced with the overwhelming job of converting all their paper-based historical climate information, which is stored in archives, libraries and research centres, into digital format. The wide range of forms in which the information is held makes access harder, as do the purposes for which the meteorological service itself was actually created….

Ambroise-Louis Garneray's 1827 painting of the Naval Battle of Navarino

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