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ESGF Download FAQ

Download questions concern all download methods except Wget scripting including the browser's download manager (download following a "HTTPServer" link), OPENDAP, and Globus.

Each ESGF question is sorted into exactly one topic. See also ESGF General since questions of general interest and questions matching several topics are under topic ESGF General.


How can I get data for a specified area only?

Solution 1: If you want to specify an area and download data for that area only, you may look for an OPENDAP download link. Data downloaded via OPENDAP are in ASCII CSV (Comma Separated Values, readable text), or dodc (a binary OPENDAP data format). OPENDAP links are available for all data files now.

In ESGF Search, add the data you are interested into your Cart and click on "Show Files" and then on "OPENDAP". In the "OPeNDAP Dataset Access Form" fill in the index ranges you want and get the array. Details for ASCII CSV:

  • The "OPeNDAP Dataset Access Form" consists of many coordinate variable blocks (time, time_bnds, lat, lat_bnds, lon, lon_bnds, height) followed by the data variable you are interested in, e.g. near surface temperature tas. First enable all the coordinate variables to find out which indices you need (check the checkboxes)
  • Click on the "GetASCII" button
  • The ASCII output contains the values of the coordinate variables. The same indices will be used in the data variable array. Choose an index range
  • Check the data variable checkbox and type-in your index ranges there. Three integers may be set for each coordinate variable: lower boundary index, increment, upper boundary index
  • Click on the "GetASCII" button again
  • The output should contain your data variable array now. If the array is too big, an error message is thrown. In this case reduce the index ranges or increase the increments. For example "time: 0:2:100" will provide every second value of the first 100 times
  • Copy and paste the data variable array to a file

Solution 2: Download the whole file and cut the region you need with a tool. Among others, one useful tool is CDO sellatlonbox, see CDO documentation.


Does ESGF support OPeNDAP downloads?

Yes, OPeNDAP URLs are available for all data files now. Once search results (datasets) have been added to your Data Cart, on that pane use the "Show Files" link for a dataset, to reveal the files and OPeNDAP links for each.


I can't add data to my DataCart

Please login first.


Where can I get data on media?

World Data Centre for Climate (WDCC) offers a subset of CMIP5/AR5 data on a medium, usually on a USB stick. This service may especially be useful for scientists who cannot download data from ESGF because of very low network bandwidth.

Last Update: May 13, 2016, 10:11 a.m. by Sylvia Murphy