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Session Knowledge in Climate Research
Duration 1 hour
Date/Time 27 Apr 2022 16:00 GMT
9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT
5:00pm BST/6:00pm CEST
Convener Ravi Sharma
Track Environment Disasters

Ontology Summit 2022 Knowledge in Climate Research

Dealing with Disasters

The COVID-19 pandemic as well as other pandemics and disasters have prompted an impressive, worldwide response by governments, industry, and the academic community. Ontologies can play a significant role in search, data description, interoperability and harmonization of the increasingly large data sources that are relevant to disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontology Summit 2022 examined the overall landscape of disasters and related ontologies. A framework consisting of a set of dimensions was developed to characterize this landscape. The framework was applied to health-related disasters, environmental disasters, as well as aerospace and cyberspace disasters. It was found that there are many cross-domain linkages between different kinds of disasters and that ontologies developed for one kind of disaster can be repurposed for other kinds. A representative sample of projects that have been developing and using ontologies for disaster monitoring and response management is presented to illustrate best practices and lessons learned. The Communiqué ends by presenting the findings and recommendations of the summit.


Moving from data to interoperable information and knowledge in climate research Slides Video Recording YouTube Video

  • 12:00 - 12:05 EDT Introduction
    • What is your background / interest in this session?
    • What are your current ontology challenges?
  • 12:05 - 12:20 EDT Magagna/S.Schindler: How to make climate research interoperable with I-ADOPT from field observation to data publication
    • The InteroperAble Description of Observable Property Terminologies RDA Working Group (I-ADOPT WG) has developed a framework to harmonise the way observable properties are named and conceptualised for various communities within and across scientific domains. There was a realisation that the rapid demand for controlled vocabularies specialised in describing observed properties (i.e. measured, simulated, counted quantities, or qualitative observations) was presenting a risk of proliferation of semantic resources that were poorly aligned. The I-ADOPT framework has been formalised into the I-ADOPT ontology and subsequently extended with usage guidelines.The output can now be used to facilitate interoperability between existing semantic resources and to support the provision of machine-readable variable descriptions whose components are mapped to FAIR vocabulary concepts.
  • 12:20 - 12:35 EDT J.Barrott/S.Bharwani: How to make knowledge interoperable: examples from weADAPT and the Connectivity Hub
    • The sheer amount of information at our disposal to tackle climate change issues is overwhelming. In theory, much of this knowledge is available online. But in practice, relevant knowledge is difficult or impossible to find – or to use. This failure to capitalise on the use of our collective knowledge contributes towards: a lack of coordination and collaboration between projects, people, agencies, organisations, and networks working on similar issues; duplication of efforts, resulting in wasted resources; missed opportunities for learning from the successes and failures of previous and ongoing work; and, an increase in information silos, with connections between different strands of work becoming increasingly harder to make. These issues inhibit progress in best practices, and impede efforts to build upon others’ work. Addressing them is essential for optimising use of the resources being dedicated to climate action, for achieving international goals, and for creating an environment that spurs innovation. We argue that the keystone of the solution to these issues lies in better connecting the data, information and knowledge we have: using IKM technologies to link relevant content on climate action – be it reports, projects, organisations, people, policies – across platforms, websites and the web at large, and across the multiple scales, disciplines and sectors involved in implementation. The technology exists to make such needed connections possible and we will share two examples of where this is being explored, in the weADAPT knowledge sharing platform and the PLACARD Connectivity Hub.
  • 12:35 - 13:00 EDT Discussion and Question/Answer
    • To what degree, do you feel your challenges might be addressed by the approaches presented?
    • After hearing about I-ADOPT, weADAPT and the Connectivity Hub, what aspects would you be interested in collaborating on?
  • Bios:
    • Julia Barrott is a Research Fellow, and a Knowledge Manager for the global weADAPT knowledge-sharing platform for climate change adaptation and related issues. She also assists the Head of Knowledge Management at SEI. Julia joined SEI Oxford in December 2015. Julia’s work blends capacity building, research, and tool development to advance climate services, knowledge management, and knowledge brokering for climate action. This includes supporting the development of the weADAPT platform; fostering collaborations and interoperability between online climate-related knowledge platforms globally; and developing new tools, systems and approaches to make knowledge more findable, useful and usable. She also supports the development of the TR2AIL tool, which enables users to track, reflect upon, and reduce their air travel where possible. In addition, she is exploring the potential for combining machine learning and earth observation to contribute to landscape-scale environmental monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. Julia holds an MSci in Environmental Geoscience from Imperial College London and a DPhil in Earth Sciences from the University of Oxford. Her postgraduate research focused on reconstructing past climate change in northwest Africa from speleothem geochemistry.
    • Sukaina Bharwani is an interdisciplinary senior researcher with a background in both social anthropology and computer science, providing her with a unique range of qualitative and quantitative skills to further climate adaptation research in innovative ways. Sukaina co-led the SEI Climate Services initiative and several work streams in large European and international projects. She also coordinates the strategic and technical development of the weADAPT global platform and network for climate change adaptation.Her current research includes supporting urban adaptation in southern Africa, connecting communities working on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Europe, and contributing to the field of climate services. Sukaina has a Ph.D. in Applied Computing (Social Sciences) and a BA (Hons) in Social Anthropology.
    • Barbara Magagna is a landscape ecologist working for Umweltbundesamt (Vienna) where she undertakes the function of a semantic analyst and database designer. She was involved in the development process and coordination of SERONTO and EnvThes. She has experience in the design of XML schemas in the air quality data reporting area, in the design of reference models and data provenance tracking methods in projects related to Environmental Research Infrastructures (ENVRI). Recently she started collaborating with GO FAIR on two topics: FAIR Implementation Profiles (FIPs) describing and assessing the FAIR landscape of communities, where she contributed to the development and coordination of FIP workshops; Metadata for Machine workshops (M4M) contributing to the Health RI COVID 19 programmes where she coordinates the training for vocabulary creation for metadata. As a co-chair of the RDA WG I-ADOPT she has co-developed an interoperability framework for the semantic representation of observable properties, which is also the topic of her ongoing PhD work at the University of Twente (NL).
    • Sirko Schindler is a senior researcher with the Institute of Data Science of the German Aerospace (DLR). Here he is responsible for efforts in the areas of metadata descriptions, provenance, and knowledge graphs. His focus is to make data understandable and enable (re)use across institutional and domain borders. in this context he contributed to multiple efforts, among those are OGC standards for the JSON-LD encoding of Earth Observation products and collections, establishing a semantic search for NextGEOSS's geospatial data, and RDA's I-ADOPT working group to enable the interoperability across vocabularies used to describe observable properties. He brings experiences from projects in a broad spectrum of domains, ranging from remote sensing over biodiversity to topics in radio astronomy and pushing towards a circular economy. Sirko received his education as a computer scientist from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, and is currently awaiting his PhD viva in the fields of data integration and visualisation.

Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 27 Apr 2022
  • Start Time: 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EDT / 6:00pm CEST / 5:00pm BST / 1600 UTC
  • Expected Call Duration: 90 minutes
  • The Video Conference URL is
    • Meeting ID: 881 4427 2329
    • Passcode: 553714
  • Chat Room:
    • If the chat room is not available, then use the Zoom chat room.
  • One tap mobile



[11:19] RaviSharma: Welcome everyone for this environmental disaster track session and panel!

[11:57] RaviSharma: This is a minutes document which participants can answer on this chat as well as respond live.

[12:03] Sukaina: During the session, please go to OR and use the code 8764 8954

[12:21] RaviSharma: Reconciliation of inter and intra domain vocabularies has been a challenge also as viewed by intersections and Venn diagrams?

[12:30] Mark Underwood: Possibly redundant ... There is a discussion of PID's for metadata interop in this stds group

[12:30] RaviSharma: Seiko - F is easy but R requires more awareness of context and situation?

[12:31] RaviSharma: How do you relate Metadata to Entity and relationships or ontologies?

[12:32] RaviSharma: Seiko - what about dynamic design patterns?

[12:35] RaviSharma: How do you handle divergence in semantics?

[12:39] Mike Bennett: Will this 2nd deck also be made available?

[12:39] RaviSharma: Julia - keywords are like metadata or just tags and how associated Semantics is maintained?

[12:40] Barbara Magagna: if you want to get involved in our initiatives please use this document to include your contact

[12:40] Mark Underwood: Is the choice of "tag" instead of "metadata" intentional? (In the developer world, e.g., CNCF., it seems to be intentional -- i.e., promoting a loose notion)

[12:42] Sirko Schindler: for Reusability you need more context, I agree. we try to contribute having "deep semantics" on the variable to have start. more context will then be given on the level of datasets or other parts of metadata (e.g., instrument used, location of the measurement, data quality etc). so we don't assume that we solve the issue, but think we contribute a essential element also to the R of FAIR.

[12:42] RaviSharma: Julia - how do you handle divergence in these?

[12:43] RaviSharma: My comment to team is that you are trying to solve a much needed harmonization and integration needed for users.

[12:44] Sirko Schindler: as for metadata - we're currently seeing a shift in metadata annotations that replaces free text fields by semantic concepts. so the terminologies mentioned multiple times, provide you the necessary concepts. our contribution is mostly in mapping between different terminologies in use.

[12:45] Gary Berg-Cross: There is relevant work in ESIP on some domain models of interest to climate change.

[12:46] Sirko Schindler: @Ravi could you please expand a little on what you mean by "dynamic design patterns"? our design patterns are structured in a hierarchy. so in later implementations we envision tools traversing kind of a decision tree to adapt the used template to the needs of the current knowledge engineer and/or task at hand. is this similar to what you have in mind?

[12:48] Gary Berg-Cross: The ENVO ontology has relevant concepts - for example flooding has these axioms:

  • material transport process
  • has participant some water body
  • has participant some planetary landmass
  • has part some (material transport process and (has participant some liquid water))
  • has part some (material accumulation process and (has participant some liquid water))

[12:50] RaviSharma: Sukaina - great adaptive integration and graphical presentation.

[12:51] Julia Barrott (SEI): Ravi - we use our keyword tags as concepts. They are metadata for the articles and case studies etc. but I try to avoid that term as in many of our presentation we also discuss metadata for the concepts - alternative labels etc. and this has caused confusion. I appreciate this isn't very accurate for this audience - as mentioned, we are very much students of this field!

[12:51] Mark Underwood: Access to specialist (SME)-built ontologies by nonspecialists is a hard problem. Ontologists I suspect would lean toward deeper specialization rather than the reverse [12:52] Mark Underwood: @Gary & Team Thanks so much for arranging this session !

[12:53] RaviSharma: @Sirko Schindler: Almost, but how do you keep track?

[12:58] Robert Rovetto: If you are looking external terminologies and models, there is also the SWEET ontologies, which has relevant content.

[13:00] Sirko Schindler: @Robert we're building a catalog of terminologies here: SWEET is in there already (not by the acronym, but the full name right now). we should look into adding an alias for the acronyms as well

[13:02] Mark Underwood: FYI Resource for the SEC climate data sharing rule in comment period

[13:08] Mark Underwood: Thanks all .. have to exit for a different meeting. Added myself to the other document .

[13:08] Barbara Magagna: Thanks Mark!

[13:14] Julia Barrott (SEI): Thank you for the pointers and resources! This has been a really useful session.

[13:14] Sukaina:


Previous Meetings

ConferenceCall 2022 04 20Personal Emergency Management
ConferenceCall 2022 04 13KGs and Disaster Mitigation
ConferenceCall 2022 04 06ESIP Cross-Domain Collaboratory
... further results

Next Meetings

ConferenceCall 2022 05 04Synthesis
ConferenceCall 2022 05 11Ontologies for Exploring Interventions
ConferenceCall 2022 05 18Space Environment - Disasters
... further results