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Obs4MIPs About Us

Long Name Obs4MIPs
Description OVERVIEW

A wide variety of observationally-based datasets are used for climate model evaluation. Obs4MIPs refers to a limited collection of well-established and documented datasets that have been organized according to the CMIP5 model output requirements and made available to the research community in the same way CMIP5 is accessed. Each Obs4MIPs dataset corresponds to a field that is output in one or more of the CMIP5 experiments. This technical alignment of observational products with climate model output greatly facilitates model data comparisons. Guidelines have also been developed for Obs4MIPs product documentation that is of particular relevance for model evaluation. More recently, the World Climate Research Program (WCRP)'s Data Advisory Council (WDAC) has initiated a Task Team to provide governance and guidance to obs4MIPs (see Governance tab).

To summarize, products available via Obs4MIPs are:
1. Directly comparable to a model output field defined as part of CMIP5
2. Open to contributions from all data producers that meet the Obs4MIPs requirements (see below)
3. Well documented, with traceability to track product version changes
4. Served through ESGF

When the CMIP6 experiments are finalized, obs4MIPs will update its protocols to include CMIP6 variables.


NASA/JPL and DOE/PCMDI initiated this activity with a focus on monthly mean near global satellite products and a limited selection of higher frequency data. To date, a variety of satellite products have been contributed to obs4MIPs from NASA. Cloud related datasets have been contributed by the CFMIP-OBS activity (, and some data from ESA ( is now available.

The CMIP5 simulation protocol (Taylor et al., 2011) is utilized as the guideline for identifying which products to make available via the ESGF, in particular: which variables, and for what periods, temporal frequencies, and spatial resolutions. A planning workshop sponsored by NASA and the DOE brought together experts in satellite observations and climate model diagnosis (held at PCMDI in October 2010, Gleckler et al., 2011). These initial efforts along with a summary of the activity were also highlighted in a BAMS In-Box article (Teixeira et al., 2014).


This effort has been initiated with support from the United States' National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) and Department of Energy (DOE) with the intent of enabling additional data providers to contribute products. In addition, the World Climate Research Program (WCRP)'s Data Advisory Council (WDAC) has initiated a Task Team to provide governance and guidance to obs4MIPs (see Governance tab).


In cases where acknowledgement is needed to the obs4MIPs activity as a whole, please use the following language as guidance. " to acknowledge the obs4MIPs activity, a project initiated by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with governance provided by the World Climate Research Program's (WCRP) Data Advisory Council (WDAC)".

In cases where the acknowledgement is needed to specific data sets, please refer to the "How to Cite" item in the menu to the left, as well as the guidance given on Acknowledgments in the data set's corresponding Technical Document.


Gleckler, P., R. Ferraro, and D. Waliser (2011), Improving use of satellite data in evaluating climate models, Eos Trans. AGU, 92(20),

Taylor, K E., Stouffer, R., and G A Meehl (2011): An Overview of CMIP5 and the experiment design. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Teixeira, J., D. Waliser, R. Ferraro, P. Gleckler, T. Lee and G. Potter, 2014: Satellite Observations for CMIP5: The Genesis of Obs4MIPs. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., early online release
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