Data Format and Transfer Specifications using Community Conventions

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APE participants need only provide the subset of APE diagnostics from which all others can be derived.   This minimum set reduces the required diagnostics to the GT, SH, TR, ML, MF and PF tables (see APE diagnostic specifications).   The diagnostics listed in GA, SZ, MZ, TE and VB will be derived later from the minimum set.

We are exploiting the efforts of many who have worked to develop data standards for the climate research community.   While a little investment is required to become familiar with the conventions, it is important to realize the benefit: this community activity is working towards a common means of data exchange that will be applicable for many other WCRP projects (e.g., AMIP and CMIP).

The data standards described below presume that APE models have recti-linear longitude-latitude grids or are interpolated to such a grid.   Gaussian grids are of course acceptable, unless the number of longitude points varies with latitude.   To ensure that APE data can be efficiently managed and results rapidly analyzed, only data that meets the following specifications can be accepted:

Note:  Participants need not follow all CF specifications, only those listed below.

Dimension Information

Dimension names:

Dimension units:

Dimension attributes:

Data on model surfaces (table PF only):

Variable attributes

Sample CF compliant netCDF output (using the ncdump command):

Global attributes:

Data files should be organized according to Analysis/Data (e.g., GT, SH, TR; see APE diagnostic specifications) and experiment.   File names should include information about the modelling group, the data type, and the experiment with the following template for file names:, where the "nc" extension implies a netCDF file.   All the variables of the same data type (e.g., GT, SH) should be stored in the same file, giving 6 files per experiment, giving 6x8 = 48 files per model.   Example file names:

It is recommended that the AMIP convention for "model id" be used to identify the model.   This simply designates the group running the model (e.g., "ncar") and the year it was run (e.g., "03a").   The letter ("a") appended to the year is a place holder in case more than one run is submitted in a given year.   Note, PCMDI more completely refers to a "model designation" that is unique for each "model vintage".  See for example:

Before processing all of your experiments, we recommend that you prepare your control run according to these standards, and submit it for verification.

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Last modified: 13 February 2017