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obs4MIPs @ IPSL


Obs4MIPs (Observations for Model Intercomparisons) is an activity to make observational products more accessible for climate model intercomparisons. 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 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) model output requirements and made available on the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF). 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 can greatly facilitate model data comparisons. 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 contributions from a broader community including CFMIP-OBS and products that rely on ESA satellites.

To summarize, products currently available via Obs4MIPs are:

  • Directly comparable to a model output field defined as part of CMIP5,
  • Open to contributions from all data producers that meet the Obs4MIPs requirements,
  • Well documented, with traceability to track product version changes,
  • Served through ESGF (and directly available through this COG).

Efforts are underway to coordinate obs4MIPs with CMIP6.

Experiment design


  • Gleckler, P., Ferraro, R., and Waliser, D. (2011), Improving use of satellite data in evaluating climate models, Eos Trans. AGU, 92(20), 10.1029/2011EO200005
  • Teixeira, J., Waliser, D., Ferraro, R., Gleckler, P., Lee, T., and Potter, G. (2014): Satellite Observations for CMIP5: The Genesis of Obs4MIPs. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00204.1
Last Update: April 7, 2021, 4:20 p.m. by Admin User
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