The C-FEWS framework: Supporting studies of climate-induced extremes on food, energy, and water systems at the regional scale

Frontiers in Environmental Science

Climate change continues to challenge food, energy, and water systems (FEWS) across the globe and will figure prominently in shaping future decisions on how best to manage this nexus. In turn, traditionally engineered and natural infrastructures jointly support and hence determine FEWS performance, their vulnerabilities, and their resilience in light of extreme climate events. We present here a research framework to advance the modeling, data integration, and assessment capabilities that support hypothesis-driven research on FEWS dynamics cast at the macro-regional scale. The framework was developed to support studies on climate-induced extremes on food, energy, and water systems (C-FEWS) and designed to identify and evaluate response options to extreme climate events in the context of managing traditionally engineered (TEI) and nature-based infrastructures (NBI). We offer a description of the computational framework, working definitions of the climate extremes analyzed, and example configurations of numerical experiments aimed at evaluating the importance of individual and combined driving variables.

There are several reliable protocols available for the necessary data transfers, and we developed a multi-tier approach. Larger data sets that required distribution to all of the C-FEWS research teams were managed using a Globus endpoint (Foster, 2011; Allen et al., 2012), while for more selective distribution and atomized access we used a GeoServer backend (, 2022), which allows for data streaming and direct integration into analytical platforms such as GIS software or any programming framework.

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