The Earth Science (ES) community with its mosaic of disciplines and contributors (academia, industry and, national and international organization) provides a scientific basis for addressing social, research and industrial issues as it is shown in the abstract on ES applications of the ES virtual research community. Some crucial points are the existing large data repositories in data centers outside the Grid infrastructures and the fact that the earth science data are always referred at least to 3 coordinates, geographical location (latitude & longitude) and time, and in many cases to 4 coordinates as activities related with spatial data, such as applications from public sector e.g. cadastre, topography, census, traffic, all public information, civil protection related on flood, fire or earthquake, industry, research and so forth. Due to the large volume of data and their heterogeneity (resolution in the 4D, different formats) the ES community has developed tools in particular to access them, to exploit and integrate them.
This session reflects many aspects of this community. Its worldwide aspect is exhibited by abstracts from teams of 11 European countries and one from Taiwan, partner of the ES cluster. Several environmental and societal issues are addressed and they concern more specifically hydrology (Black Sea Catchment– EU project, EnviroGrids), meteorology, pollution, seismology, fire evolution (Portuguese funded project, Cross-Fire), fisheries and aquaculture with monitoring and risk management approaches. Porting applications is not enough to satisfy the requirements of end-users. Due to the complexity of the application, workflows have been developed and one example is given for the fisheries and aquaculture communities. Two abstracts concern the use, with Grid, of GIS components based on Web services and provided by OGC (Open Geospatial consortium). Their integration within a platform or gateway will be very useful for decision makers as well as all public. To address the issue of exploring large data sets, different data mining tools are commonly used in ES and have been applied in the framework of the European project, ADMIRE. Training platforms are a key point to introduce new end-users to the grid infrastructure and to demonstrate the powerfulness of an Grid environment, one example is shown with satellite earth observation data. Finally, after a decade of European Grid projects and effort of building the ES Grid community, critical issue is it sustainability and its structure to maintain and facilitate collaboration, expertise.