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Joao Teixeira, Duane Waliser, Robert Ferraro, Peter Gleckler, Tsengdar Lee, and Gerald Potter

The objective of the Observations for Model Intercomparison Projects (Obs4MIPs) is to provide observational data to the climate science community, which is analogous (in terms of variables, temporal and spatial frequency, and periods) to output from the 5th phase of the World Climate Research Programme's (WCRP) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) climate model simulations. The essential aspect of the Obs4MIPs methodology is that it strictly follows the CMIP5 protocol document when selecting the observational datasets. Obs4MIPs also provides documentation that describes aspects of the observational data (e.g., data origin, instrument overview, uncertainty estimates) that are of particular relevance to scientists involved in climate model evaluation and analysis. In this paper, we focus on the activities related to the initial set of satellite observations, which are being carried out in close coordination with CMIP5 and directly engage NASA's observational (e.g., mission and instrument) science teams. Having launched Obs4MIPs with these datasets, a broader effort is also briefly discussed, striving to engage other agencies and experts who maintain datasets, including reanalysis, which can be directly used to evaluate climate models. Different strategies for using satellite observations to evaluate climate models are also briefly summarized.

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Robert Ferraro, Duane E. Waliser, Peter Gleckler, Karl E. Taylor, and Veronika Eyring
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Xubin Zeng, Steve Ackerman, Robert D. Ferraro, Tsengdar J. Lee, John J. Murray, Steven Pawson, Carolyn Reynolds, and Joao Teixeira
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Dean N. Williams, V. Balaji, Luca Cinquini, Sébastien Denvil, Daniel Duffy, Ben Evans, Robert Ferraro, Rose Hansen, Michael Lautenschlager, and Claire Trenham


Working across U.S. federal agencies, international agencies, and multiple worldwide data centers, and spanning seven international network organizations, the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) allows users to access, analyze, and visualize data using a globally federated collection of networks, computers, and software. Its architecture employs a system of geographically distributed peer nodes that are independently administered yet united by common federation protocols and application programming interfaces (APIs). The full ESGF infrastructure has now been adopted by multiple Earth science projects and allows access to petabytes of geophysical data, including the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP)—output used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment reports. Data served by ESGF not only include model output (i.e., CMIP simulation runs) but also include observational data from satellites and instruments, reanalyses, and generated images. Metadata summarize basic information about the data for fast and easy data discovery.

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George J. Huffman, Robert F. Adler, Philip Arkin, Alfred Chang, Ralph Ferraro, Arnold Gruber, John Janowiak, Alan McNab, Bruno Rudolf, and Udo Schneider

The Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) has released the GPCP Version 1 Combined Precipitation Data Set, a global, monthly precipitation dataset covering the period July 1987 through December 1995. The primary product in the dataset is a merged analysis incorporating precipitation estimates from low-orbit-satellite microwave data, geosynchronous-orbit-satellite infrared data, and rain gauge observations. The dataset also contains the individual input fields, a combination of the microwave and infrared satellite estimates, and error estimates for each field. The data are provided on 2.5° × 2.5° latitude-longitude global grids. Preliminary analyses show general agreement with prior studies of global precipitation and extends prior studies of El Nino-Southern Oscillation precipitation patterns. At the regional scale there are systematic differences with standard climatologies.

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