Cloud, radiation, and precipitation climatologies from observations and CMIP3/IPCC AR4 models

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One-Line Description:

Climatological cloud, TOA radiation, and surface precipitation fields from satelite observations and from IPCC AR4/CMIP3 models

Temporal Coverage:

Long term monthly means. Most models climatologies are for years 1979 to 2000; exceptions are the CSU MMF (1986-1999) and the ECMWF C32R1 (1 Dec 1991 - 1 Dec 2001). The epoch for each observational climatology is described in the reference.

Spatial Coverage:

  • 2.5 degree latitude x 2.5 degree longitude global grid (144x72).
  • 88.75N - 88.75S, 1.25E - 358.75E.

Levels:

Single levels: Radiation variables at TOA; precipitation at surface; cloud fraction is column integrated.

Update Schedule:

None scheduled.

Usage Restrictions:

Please don't redistribute these files.

Detailed Description:

These climatologies are computed by interpolating bi-linearly from the data's native grid to a 2.5 by 2.5 degree regular latitude/longitude grid, then averaging each month across the length of the available data.

Caveats:

From time to time errors are discovered in the CMIP3 model output that is the basis for the model climatologies. Although as of November 2007 there are no known problems with the CMIP3 model output used here, it is possible that problems will be discovered and corrected in the original source data sometime in the future. To check whether changes have been made in the CMIP3 source data, see the errata page at PCMDI.

Related File Naming & Structure Information:

File Naming convention: /Datasets.other/cmip3-clouds-rad-precip/INST_MODEL_RUN.nc where INST is the institution's acronym, MODEL is the model's CMIP3 model ID, and RUN is AMIP or 20thC.

Dataset Format and Size: PSD standard NetCDF 4.5 Mbyte file for each climatology containing 9 real variables.

Missing Data: Missing data is flagged with a very large, negative real number (-3.402823e+38)

Citation:

References:

For details on how the climatologies were constructed see Pincus et al, 2008: Evaluating the present-day simulation of clouds, precipitation, and radiation in climate models. See the references therein for descriptions of how the observations were obtained. See the PCMIDI site for links to documentation on each model.

Original Sources:

Download Data:

Files are available via anonymous ftp from host ftp.cdc.noaa.gov in directory /Datasets.other/cmip3-clouds-rad-precip/.

The primary observational climatology includes CERES, GPCP, and ISCCP. The secondary observational climatology includes ERBE, CMAP, and MODIS.

Climatologies constructed from model data are listed in this table:

Model AMIP climatology 20th C climatology
BCM 2.0 N/A bccr_bcm2_0_20thC.nc
CGCM 3.1 (T47) N/A cccma_cgcm3_1_20thC.nc
CGCM 3.1 (T63) N/A cccma_cgcm3_1_t63_20thC.nc
CNRM CM3 cnrm_cm3_AMIP.nc cnrm_cm3_20thC.nc
CSIRO Mk3.0 N/A csiro_mk3_0_20thC.nc
CSU SuperCAM csu_mmf_AMIP.nc N/A
GFDL CM 2.0 N/A gfdl_cm2_0_20thC.nc
GFDL CM 2.1 N/A gfdl_cm2_1_20thC.nc
GISS AOM N/A giss_aom_20thC.nc
GISS EH N/A giss_model_e_h_20thC.nc
GISS ER giss_model_e_r_AMIP.nc giss_model_e_r_20thC.nc
FGOALS g1.0 iap_fgoals1_0_g_AMIP.nc iap_fgoals1_0_g_20thC.nc
INM CM 3.0 inmcm3_0_AMIP.nc inmcm3_0_20thC.nc
IPSL CM 4 ipsl_cm4_AMIP.nc ipsl_cm4_20thC.nc
MIROC 3.2 (hires) miroc3_2_hires_AMIP.nc miroc3_2_hires_20thC.nc
MIROC 3.2 (medres) miroc3_2_medres_AMIP.nc miroc3_2_medres_20thC.nc
ECHO-G N/A miub_echo_g_20thC.nc
ECHAM5/MPI-OM mpi_echam5_AMIP.nc mpi_echam5_20thC.nc
MRI CGCM 2.3.2 mri_cgcm2_3_2a_AMIP.nc mri_cgcm2_3_2a_20thC.nc
NCAR CCSM 3.0 ncar_ccsm3_0_AMIP.nc ncar_ccsm3_0_20thC.nc
NCAR PCM ncar_pcm1_AMIP.nc ncar_pcm1_20thC.nc
UKMO HadCM3 N/A ukmo_hadcm3_20thC.nc
UKMO HadGem3 ukmo_hadgem1_AMIP.nc ukmo_hadgem1_20thC.nc
All IPCC Model Mean all_ipcc_model_mean_AMIP.nc all_ipcc_model_mean_20thC.nc
ECMWF ERA-40 ecmwf_era40_AMIP.nc N/A
ECMWF C32R1 ecmwf_32r1_AMIP.nc N/A

Contact:

Physical Sciences Division: Data Management
NOAA/ESRL/PSD
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305-3328
esrl.psd.data@noaa.gov