The National Extreme Events Data and Research Center (NEED)


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Publication Type:

Conference Paper


AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, AGU, San Francisco, CA (2014)

The Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is establishing the National Extreme Events Data and Research Center (NEED), with the goal of transforming how the United States studies and prepares for extreme weather events in the context of a changing climate. NEED will encourage the myriad, distributed extreme events research communities to move toward the adoption of common practices and will develop a new database compiling global historical data on weather- and climate-related extreme events (e.g., heat waves, droughts, hurricanes, etc.) and related information about impacts, costs, recovery, and available research. Currently, extreme event information is not easy to access and is largely incompatible and inconsistent across web sites. NEED's database development will take into account differences in time frames, spatial scales, treatments of uncertainty, and other parameters and variables, and leverage informatics tools developed at ORNL (i.e., the Metadata Editor [1] and Mercury [2]) to generate standardized, robust documentation for each database along with a web-searchable catalog. In addition, NEED will facilitate convergence on commonly accepted definitions and standards for extreme events data and will enable integrated analyses of coupled threats, such as hurricanes/sea-level rise/flooding and droughts/wildfires. Our goal and vision is that NEED will become the premiere integrated resource for the general study of extreme events.