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In-situ Products

For the purpose of describing the prospects for including in-situ data in obs4MIPs, we distinguish between three broad classes of in-situ data:

  1. Gridded

  2. Site specific

  3. Lagrangian


With its first community-wide data call, obs4MIPs has made an important step of moving beyond satellite-only data products to include gridded in-situ data.   A number of gridded in-situ products have been proposed and are in the process of being included in obs4MIPs.   Examples include SOCAT and a several products from the Met Office Hadley Centre (e.g., HadCRUT4).   


Within CMIP/CFMIP, some high frequency site-specific model output is archived.  Currently, discussions are underway to adapt the obs4MIPs data specifications to this precedent, and thus enable site-specific in-situ to be included in obs4MIPs.   There are important technical issues to consider, e.g., whether or not data from different sites should be stored in the same file.   The WDAC/obs4MIPs Task Team strives to prepare a proposal and prototypes well before the end of 2017.  A prototype was developed early on in obs4MIPs with ARM sites (below) using the original obs4MIPs data specifications which are currently being updated for CMIP6.  Anyone interested in contributing to this discussion of how best to include site-specific data in obs4MIPs should contact   


Lagrangian data (e.g. ocean drifters) may ultimately be an important addition to obs4MIPs, but currently resources are not available to address the technical aspects of how best to fit such data within the CMIP data structures.  Another example of a class of data to consider will be  satellite “swath” data.    



An initial prototype for site-specific data


Several years ago DOE ARM site high frequency measurements were prepared with the original obs4MIPs data specifications,  helping to inspire considerable interest in broadening the scope of obs4MIPs to include in-situ data. As mentioned above, the data specifications are currently being revised.   The original prototype of Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Best Estimate (ARMBE) data can be obtained from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) ESGF data node at


Last Update: April 27, 2017, 10:26 a.m. by Peter Gleckler
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Obs4MIPs Tags: Intercomparison, MIP, Observations