[SIGCIS-Members] CFP: special issue of IEEE Software on "Climate Change: Software, Science and Society"

Paul Edwards pne at umich.edu
Tue Dec 28 05:30:35 PST 2010

Please forward widely. I'm a co-editor on this special issue; happy to answer any questions about scope.

- Paul Edwards

IEEE Software Special Issue on Climate Change: Software, Science and Society

Submission Deadline: 8 April 2011
Publication (tentative): Nov/Dec 2011

A vast software infrastructure underpins our ability to understand climate change, assess the implications, and form suitable policy responses. This software infrastructure allows large teams of scientists to construct very complex models out of many interlocking parts, and further allows scientists, activists and policymakers to share data, explore scenarios, and validate assumptions. The extent of this infrastructure is often invisible (as infrastructure often is, until it breaks down), both to those who rely on it, and to interested observers, such as politicians, journalists, and the general public. Yet weaknesses in this software (whether real or imaginary) will impede our ability to make progress on what may be the biggest challenge faced by humanity in the 21st Century.

This special issue of IEEE Software will explore the challenges in developing the software infrastructure for understanding and responding to climate change. Our aim is to help bridge the gap between the software community and the climate science community, by soliciting a collection of articles that explain the nature and extent of this software infrastructure, the technical challenges it poses, and the current state-of-the-art.

We invite papers covering any of the software challenges involved in creating this technical infrastructure, but please note that we are not soliciting papers that discuss the validity of the science itself, or which take sides in the policy debate on climate change.

We especially welcome review papers, which explain the current state-of-the-art in some specific aspect of climate software in an accessible way, and roadmap papers, which describe the challenges in the construction and validation of this software. Suitable topics for the special issue include (but are not restricted to):

- Construction, verification and validation of computational models and data analysis tools used in climate science;
- Frameworks, coupling strategies and software integration issues for earth system modeling;
- Challenges of scale and complexity in climate software, including high data volumes and throughputs, massive parallelization and performance issues, numerical complexity, and coupling complexity;
- Challenges of longevity and evolution of climate models codes, including legacy code, backwards compatibility, and computational reproducibility;
- Experiences with model ensembles and model inter-comparison projects, particularly as these relate to software verification and validation;
- Meta-data standards and data management for earth system data, including the challenge of making models and data self-describing;
- Coordination of cross-disciplinary teams in the development of integrated assessment and decision support systems;
- The role of open science and usable simulation tools in increasing public accessibility of climate science and public participation in climate policy discussions;
- Case studies and lessons learned from application of software engineering techniques within climate science.

Manuscripts must not exceed 4,700 words including figures and tables, which count for 200 words each. Submissions in excess of these limits may be rejected without refereeing. The articles we deem within the theme's scope will be peer-reviewed and are subject to editing for magazine style, clarity, organization, and space. Be sure to include the name of the theme you are submitting for.

Articles should have a practical orientation, and be written in a style accessible to software practitioners. Overly complex, purely research-oriented or theoretical treatments are not appropriate. Articles should be novel. IEEE Software does not republish material published previously in other venues, including other periodicals and formal conference/workshop proceedings, whether previous publication was in print or in electronic form.


For more information about the special issue, contact the Guest Editors:

Steve Easterbrook, University of Toronto, Canada (sme at cs.toronto.edu)
Reinhard Budich, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany (reinhard.budich at zmaw.de)
Paul N. Edwards, University of Michigan, USA (pne at umich.edu)
V. Balaji, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, USA. (balaji at princeton.edu)

For general author guidelines: www.computer.org/software/author.htm

For submission details: software at computer.org

To submit an article: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/sw-cs

Paul N. Edwards, Professor of Information and History
Director, UM Program on Science, Technology & Society 
A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010)

Terse replies are deliberate (and better than nothing)
University of Michigan School of Information
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285
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