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Observations for Climate Model Intercomparisons

Obs4MIPs (Observations for Model Intercomparisons Project) is an activity to make observational products more accessible for climate model intercomparisons via the same searchable distributed system used to serve and disseminate the rapidly expanding set of  simulations made available for community research.

A wide variety of observationally-based datasets are used for climate model evaluation. Obs4MIPs refers to a limited collection of documented datasets that have been organized according to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) model output requirements and made available on the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF).  Most obs4MIPs datasets correspond to a field that is output in one or more of the CMIP experiments. This technical alignment of observational products with climate model output can greatly facilitate model evaluation, development and research. Guidelines have also been developed for obs4MIPs product documentation that is of particular relevance for model evaluation. This effort was initiated with support from NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and has now expanded to include:1) contributions from a broader community including CFMIP-OBS and products that rely on a number of other agency’s (e.g. ESA, EUMETSAT, NOAA, JAXA) satellites, and 2) guidance and support from the WCRP Data Advisory Council.  More than 80 documented datasets are currently accessible across 7 ESGF nodes with approximately 100 new contributions projected in 2018 based on the response to the (now closed) Call for Datasets.   To date, obs4MIPs only provides gridded products but protocols are being developed to enable inclusion of in-situ data

To summarize, products currently available via Obs4MIPs are:

  1. Comparable to model output defined as part of CMIP
  2. Open to contributions from all data producers that meet the obs4MIPs requirements
  3. Well documented, with traceability to track product version changes
  4. Served through ESGF (and directly available through this COG).

To get data - Please go to the Search & Download Data box or More search  options links above.

A complete list of dasasets can be viewed via the Satellite Data Products link on the left.

To propose a new dataset for obs4MIPs, please see the How to Contribute link on the left.

Obs4MIPs is undergoing further expansion in coordination with CMIP6

Obs4MIPs is in the process of becoming more flexible to accommodate a wider variety of  data that could be useful for the evaluation of climate models.  Here are some examples of efforts underway:

    New Dataset Features - See items in upper left menu

These and other enhancements will be implemented throughout 2017.  Questions and comments are encouraged and should be sent to

Last Update: Nov. 27, 2017, 10:40 p.m. by Duane Waliser

Read News
Dataset Call is now closed!
We have been overwhelmed with the response to the obs4MIPs dataset call! The task team ...
Call For Datasets - Nov 2015
The WDAC task team has issued a call for dataset contributions to obs4mIPs. See "Call ...
Obs4MIPs-CMIP6 Planning Meeting Final Report is now available
Go to the left sidebar and click on Planning Meeting Report
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Obs4MIPs Tags: Intercomparison, MIP, Observations