Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Large Scale EOF Analysis of Climate Data

Monday, December 12, 2016 - 12:05
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We present a distributed approach towards extracting EOFs from 3D climate data. We implement the method in Apache Spark, and process multi-TB sized datasets on O(1000-10,000) cores. We apply this method to latitude-weighted ocean temperature data from CSFR, a 2.2 terabyte-sized data set comprising ocean and subsurface reanalysis measurements collected at 41 levels in the ocean, at 6 hour intervals over 31 years. We extract the first 100 EOFs of this full data set and compare to the EOFs computed simply on the surface temperature field.

Our analyses provide evidence of Kelvin and Rossy waves and components of large-scale modes of oscillation including the ENSO and PDO that are not visible in the usual SST EOFs. Further, they provide information on the the most influential parts of the ocean, such as the thermocline, that exist below the surface.

Work is ongoing to understand the factors determining the depth-varying spatial patterns observed in the EOFs. We will experiment with weighting schemes to appropriately account for the differing depths of the observations. We also plan to apply the same distributed approach to analysis of analysis of 3D atmospheric climatic data sets, including multiple variables. Because the atmosphere changes on a quicker time-scale than the ocean, we expect that the results will demonstrate an even greater advantage to computing 3D EOFs in lieu of 2D EOFs.

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