The IHData UPDATE project will ensure the maintenance and extension of the meteo-oceanic climate data required by IHCantabria and by many external users.

by | 29 Jun, 2023 | General News, Marine Climate and Climate Change | 0 comments

One of the novelties of the IHData UPDATE project, which is being developed within the framework of the Marine Science Program in Cantabria, is that it will include the latest projections on climate change generated by IHCantabria, providing relevant information on waves and changes in sea level.

As important as the blood that runs through the veins of a human being are the data provided by IHData to research group of the Institute of Environmental Hydraulics of the University of Cantabria (IHCantabria) and other entities. That is why it is important to ensure its maintenance and updating, which is what the IHData UPDATE project offers to do, until mid-2025, with the support of the Marine Science Program (PCM).

IHData is a service for the translation, transfer and guidance of climate information, both historical and of possible future alterations due to climate change. The purpose of this service is to provide climate information and to transfer meteorological data to different types of users, among whom are members of IHCantabria and the University of Cantabria (UC), as well as other users (some are for educational and research purposes, while others come from multiple sectors of private enterprise, such as engineering, energy, insurance, etc.).

The IHData UPDATE project proposes improvements in the current service, with tasks aimed at maintaining and updating its databases, and with the implementation of appropriate initiatives to ensure that IHData’s progress is in line with technological advances and the requirements of its different users. The main advances to be made, within the framework of the PCM, are related to technological progress. For example, less than a decade ago the ability to generate, store and read databases was limited to gigabyte (GB) scale sizes. Currently the IHData repository has a storage of more than 100 terabytes (1TB=1000GB) and the databases it offers can have very high spatial resolution on the coast or global coverage over all oceans and seas.

The climate information contained in IHData allows us to perform analyses and obtain important responses to particular conditions. For example, with respect to the increase in temperature in the current seawater or the extreme levels of sea level that can be reached on the coast, increasing the danger associated with flooding, etc.,” reports Melisa Menéndez, principal investigator at IHCantabria, where she is in charge of the Marine Climate and Climate Change Group. According to Menéndez, IHData is a service that offers climate data and information -both on present and historical climate, and on possible future scenarios due to global warming and climate change- as well as providing information on average climate conditions and on extreme events associated with storms.

One of the members of the IHData management team is Adrián Acevedo, who has been linked to IHCantabria since 2014. In his words, “IHData contains information that is not common to other international repositories, because it encompasses several meteo-oceanographic databases, oriented to the characterization of maritime climate”. Among the variables contained in this service, those focused on wind over the sea, waves and sea level stand out, although information on other variables such as air and sea temperature, rainfall, salinity, currents, etc. is also available. The quality of these variables is comparable or similar to those provided by marine and coastal sensors, which can be verified through the publication of several scientific articles associated with the generation and analysis of these climate data.

Relevant information about IHData

IHData is a project that originated from the beginning of IHCantabria, more than 15 years ago. At present, it consists of an infrastructure that contains large volume data sources, more than one million files, with a storage capacity of 130TB. In a specific repository, IHData contains climate databases generated and developed by IHCantabria and other organizations. Since 2013, it has freely and externally serviced more than 120 researchers from over 22 countries, from all continents. More than 50% of the projects developed in IHCantabria use climate information from IHData. Therefore, this tool for access, analysis and extraction of the data contained has allowed IHCantabria to have its own repository of databases of great relevance and interest, both nationally and internationally. Some of the databases included in IHData are: GOW (global and regional ocean scale waves), DOW (high spatial resolution offshore waves), SeaWind (high spatial resolution offshore winds at regional scale), GOS (sea level variations due to storm action) and GOT (astronomical tide).

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