We are inundated with environmental data – Earth observing satellites stream terabytes of data back to us daily; ground-based sensor networks track weather, water quality and air pollution, taking readings every few minutes; and community scientists log hundreds and thousands of observations every day, recording everything from bird sightings to road closures and accidents. But this very richness of data has created a new set of problems.
This last post in our four-part series gives a brief summary of the data skills that geoscientists will need to develop to effectively work with data in a data-rich, connected, open-source world. This report is loosely based on the town halls and open-source sessions, as well as the more formal Earth and Space Science Informatics sessions, at the AGU fall meeting in Dec 2016.
Twenty-first century science is marked by the availability of huge environmental datasets, unprecedented access to computing power, and an urgent need to understand – and mitigate – the increasing impact of human society on the environment. What skills do geoscientists need to face the challenges and opportunities of 21st century science? We describe three areas that have the potential to leverage today’s data and computing power to meet our current environmental challenges.