In an era of rapid global change, our ability to understand and predict Earth's natural systems is lagging behind our ability to monitor and measure changes in the biosphere. Bottlenecks in our ability to process information have reduced our capacity to fully exploit the growing volume and variety of data. Here, we take a critical look at the information infrastructure that connects modeling and measurement efforts, and propose a roadmap that accelerates production of new knowledge. We propose that community cyberinfrastructure tools can help mend the divisions between empirical research and modeling, and accelerate the pace of discovery. A new era of data-model integration requires investment in accessible, scalable, transparent tools that integrate the expertise of the whole community, not just a clique of ‘modelers’. This roadmap focuses on five key opportunities for community tools: the underlying backbone to community cyberinfrastructure; data ingest; calibration of models to data; model-data benchmarking; and data assimilation and ecological forecasting. This community-driven approach is key to meeting the pressing needs of science and society in the 21st century.
community cyberinfrastructure; accessibility; reproducibility; interoperability; models
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