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Content about Environment

August 19, 2015

Modern farming practices are often blamed for the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. A new big data analysis indicates change in land use might be as much to blame. With an eye to best practices, researchers see solutions to mitigate these contributors to climate change.

April 29, 2015

Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory used supercomputers to model ocean vortexes and their effect on floating oil rigs. Their work has won industry awards — increasing safety and reducing potential harm to deep sea environments.

April 8, 2015

Researchers from the University of Surrey, UK, have developed an iPad app that could change the way wildlife is monitored in the future. The Wildsense app loads photos of tigers from the web for analysis by players in return for points. These ‘citizen scientists’ examine these photos and provide further behavioral context that does not typically exist with the image alone. For example, how many tigers are in the image, what are the tigers doing, and what is their environment?

October 29, 2014

Rainforest Connection uses simple devices created from discarded cellphones to listen out for illegal logging activities and provide rangers with real-time alerts. The organization was founded in 2012 by Topher White, who gave a talk about his work at TEDxCERN last month. White’s system has already helped stop illegal logging in Indonesia and further pilot projects are set to be launched soon in both Brazil and Cameroon.

August 20, 2014

Video courtesy AnaEE.

May 14, 2014

One of Antarctica’s biggest ice streams, the Pine Island Glacier, may be in uncontrollable retreat, with the potential risk of raising global sea levels by up to 1 cm by the year 2031. Discover the role that high-performance computing played in enabling this research.

January 29, 2014

The research is being led by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Click for full size image. Image courtesy CSIRO. © Copyright CSIRO Australia, January 2014.

November 13, 2013

Last month, CERN played host to the 2nd Workshop on Energy for Sustainable Science at Research Infrastructures. Delegates discussed how various aspects of large-scale research infrastructures could be made more energy efficient, including the computing centers which underpin the science carried out.

October 23, 2013

The EUBrazilOpenBio project has published a new joint action plan, outlining it's vision for increased cooperation to tackle biodiversity loss. The document marks an important step towards understanding how to address biodiversity challenges more effectively by creating a joint data and cloud infrastructure for Brazil and Europe. 

June 12, 2013

Sea level is projected to rise by up to a meter by 2100 due to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases. However, a new study indicates that cutting four kinds of heat-trapping emissions could have an impact this century. Such progress is possible because these pollutants cycle through the atmosphere relatively quickly.


September 12, 2012

Grid computing is helping scientists to design cheaper and greener plastics for everyday use.


August 15, 2012

Climate simulations carried out using the XSEDE grid-computing infrastructure predict that the US is likely to be affected by the levels of extreme drought it is currently experiencing in 20 years out of every 50 by the end of this century.



January 28, 2011

The upcoming ISGC 2011 (International Symposium on Grids and Clouds 2011) conference, in conjunction with OGF31 (Open Grid Forum), will be held in Taipei, Taiwan from 21 - 25 March 2011. Please visit here to register for this joint event. We welcome you to register before 28 February 2011 to enjoy the Early Bird rates!

December 15, 2010

Imagine living next to a busy highway operating 24 hours a day for 365 days per year. That’s what life is like for ocean animals living next to busy shipping lanes.

December 1, 2010

Read about how the EpiCollect application can help field researchers gather data.

November 10, 2010

Feature - Can a digital earth save the planet?

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Ash spewing from Iceland’s volcano, “Eyjafjallajoekull’ in 2010, in an image from the European Space Agency’s Envisat satellite. Image courtesy ESA (European Space Agency).

With climate change hot on the agenda, activists, scientists and politicians are looking into what can be done to provide a united front against this global issue.
At the 8th e-Infrastructure Concertation Meeting, held at CERN last Thursday and  Friday, a networking event organized by the European Commission (EC), one such project aims to consolidate the various Earth sciences. Their work could reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters, and help us better understand how our planet’s climate is changing.
Ground European Network for Earth Science Interoperations - Digital Earth Community (GENESI-DEC) is focused on providing a virtual resource for scientist

November 3, 2010

Image of the Week - Google Street View lands in Antarctica

The above picture is of Half Moon Island in the South Shetlands. You can see a 360 degree panoramic view of the island by pressing the arrows in the top-left hand corner of the picture. It has a certain ‘cool’ factor in more ways than one, don’t you think?
Original courtesy Brian McClendon, vice president of engineering, for Google Earth and Maps.

The ubiquity of Google knows no bounds. Their Street View service, first introduced in 2007, with its 360-degree panoramic street-level images has now captured views of our planet’s most southern-most continent – Antarctica.
Brian McClendon, vice president of engineering for Google Earth and Maps, took the Street View images or ‘vacation photos’ while travelling to Antarctica on a cruise ship. More information about his trip can be found here.

October 20, 2010

Feature - Climate model tackles clouds

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Animation from the NICAM model simulation of 21 May - 31 August 2009, showing cloudiness (based on outgoing long-wave radiation) in shades of gray and precipitation rate in rainbow colors, based on hourly data from the simulation. The cloudiness is shaded in brighter gray for thicker clouds, and the colors range from shades of green, indicating precipitation rate less than 1 mm/day, to yellow and orange (1 - 16 mm/day), to red (16-64 mm/day) and magenta (> 64 mm/day). The animation begins zoomed in over India and the Bay of Bengal, showing the fact that tropical cyclone Aila, which in reality made landfall near Calcutta killing dozens of Indian and Bangladeshi citizens and displacing over 100,000 people from their homes, was very accurately predicted in the simulation.
Video and caption courtesy NICS

Few areas of science are currently hotter than clima

October 6, 2010

Announcement - Registration open, Computing and Astroparticle Physics-ASPERA, Lyon, France Photo courtesy ASPERA Registration is now open for Computing and Astroparticle Physics-ASPERA, to be hold in Lyon, France from 07 October to 08 October 2010. Astroparticle Physics has grown in a few years from a field of a few charismatic pioneers transgressing interdisciplinary frontiers to a global science activity projecting very large infrastructures involving hundreds of researchers each. In particular, the large infrastructures proposed in the ASPERA Roadmap will face challenging problems of data collection, data storage and data mining. In some of these, the cost of computing will be a significant fraction of the cost of the infrastructure and the issues of model of computation, data mining complexity and public access will be extremely challenging. In the Lyon workshop these issues will be addressed, along with data storage and analysis models developed in neighboring fields such as part

October 6, 2010

Feature - A lasting ocean observatory

A map indicates the location of the four major ocean arrays, as well as the two minor ones. Click for a larger version. Image courtesy of OOI - CEV at University of Washington.

Agile architecture is essential if a large-scale infrastructure like the Ocean Observatories Initiative is to last three decades, as mandated.
“The Ocean Observatory has been in planning for fifteen years and more,” said Matthew Arrott, OOI’s project manager for cyberinfrastructure. “It is our anticipation, over a 30 year lifespan, that we need to account for user needs and the technology that we are using all changing.”
That’s why they’ve focused their attention on creating an infrastructure that can interface with a wide variety of software packages and computational resource providers.
“The observatory supports a broad range of analysis with the expectation that the majority of the analysis capability will be provided a

September 22, 2010

Feature - Surfing for earthquakes

Aftermath of Haiti earthquake. Image courtesy UN Development Program

A better understanding of the ground beneath our feet may come from research by seismologists and an organization called RAPID—a group of computer scientists at the University of Edinburgh.
The very structure of the Earth controls how earthquakes travel and the amount of damage they cause. Therefore, a clear picture of this structure would be extremely valuable to earthquake planners — but it requires the analysis of huge amounts of data.
To help, the RAPID team developed a system that performs the seismologists’ data-crunching, and have made it easy to use by relying on an interface familiar to all scientists: a web browser.
Seismologists measure vibrations in the Earth at hundreds of observatories across Europe, which allows them to study earthquakes as they travel across countries and continents. By measuring the speed and strength of the vibrations at d

August 11, 2010


Link of the Week - A new twist on summer camp: computing classes in the wild

Image courtesy Carlos Jaime-Barrios Hernandez

We’ve all heard of summer camp.But SuperComputing Camp (or SSCAMP, as it is known by its acronym in Spanish) is a little different.
Starting on the 15th of August, 46 undergraduates and masters students will learn about high performance computing, grid computing, volunteer computing and cloud computing — while staying in a hacienda near Panachi National Wildlife Park, just outside the small town of Piedecuesta, Colombia.The organizer, Carlos Jaime-Barrios Hernandez, says the idea is for students to learn in a natural environment, where they can explore and enjoy the great outdoors while having access to fully up-to-date facilities, including digital resources, projectors and live-video feeds to keynote speeches and online lectures. They will remotely connect to the grid infrastructure via the web. Hernandez — a research scient

August 4, 2010

Feature - The sun never sets on the GreenStar Network The GSN project is lead by Quebec Ecole de technologie superieure in Montreal. In this picture, the team behind the GreenStar Network pose next to the Communications Research Centre Canada's GSN node. From left to right: Martin Brooks, Mathieu Lemay, Michel Savoie, John Spence, Bobby Ho. Image courtesy of John Spence. When the sun sets on the Communications Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada, the solar-powered computational jobs might be sent across the high-speed connection to the Cybera data center in Calgary, where it’s still bright and sunny. And when the sun stops shining in Calgary, if the wind is blowing at the wind-powered BastionHost facility in Truro, Nova Scotia, then the jobs could be sent back east. Most forms of renewable energy are not reliable – at any given location. But Canada’s Green Star Network aims to demonstrate that by allowing the computations to follow the renewable energy across a lar

July 7, 2010

Feature - Volunteer computing helps rescue oiled Gulf Coast wildlife

Map indicating position fo Deepwater Horizon oil spill as of June 8, and globally important bird areas considered most at risk. Image courtesy American Bird Conservancy. Click on image to enlarge.

iPhone users who come upon oiled birds and other wildlife in the Gulf Coast region can immediately transmit the location and a photo to animal rescue networks using a free new iPhone application called MoGO (Mobile Gulf Observatory). It was developed by four University of Massachusetts-Amherst researchers to make it easier for the public to help save wildlife exposed to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. With support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the UMass-Amherst researchers hope the MoGO app will draw on the large network of “citizen scientists” who are as heartbroken as they are to witness the disaster for marine life, and who are actively looking for ways to help save wildlife along