The NFDI4Earth Consortium was set up in a comprehensive bottom-up process with plenary meetings, voluntary working groups, a steering group and a coordination group in 2020.

Large parts of the German Earth System Science community came together in three consecutive meetings to shape the structure of a possible NFDI4Earth. Based on the preparatory work of the different groups and including the plenary meetings, the actual consortium was formed by the participants and (co-)spokespersons of the institutes. Further details can be found under NFDI4Earth.

The aim of NFDI4Earth is to further identify the need for digital change in German Earth System Science (ESS) in order to establish a set of common principles, rules and standards for research data management (RDM) in Earth System Science, to create experimental prototype platforms working on distributed resources, and to provide tools and mechanisms for data integration and analysis in a structured community consultation process.

The ESS involve a considerable number of disciplines and communities with the overall objective of understanding the functioning of all Earth System subsystems and their interactions. The existing services supporting RDM in the ESS are scattered and heterogeneous and mostly project-based. Therefore, the description and assessment of Earth System processes, their interdependencies and their changes urgently requires more efficient workflows and more powerful data analysis frameworks.

The pressing global challenges (e. g. climate change, water scarcity, land use change, pollution, natural hazards) require intensified national and international interdisciplinary efforts. The links between different sub-disciplines and scientific approaches can be significantly strengthened through cooperative research data management and knowledge extraction and ultimately lead to a new quality of science.

The cooperation of SDI Germany and NFDI4Earth enables a more targeted communication of requirements of scientific users for data, services and structures of the SDI Germany.

NFDI4Earth can bundle and concretise the demands of science on existing spatial data infrastructures such as the SDI Germany, so that a targeted optimisation of data exchange is promoted.

The participation in the scientific consortium NFDI4Earth also leads to an increased visibility and use of the SDI Germany.