The purpose of this project is to provide a local storage medium to download, analyze, subset, and provide access to  various CMIP5 simulations for any member of the WHOI community.

About the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5

The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) represents a collaborative effort involving 20 climate modeling groups from around the world – the Working Group on Coupled Modelling (WGCM), as part of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). At a September 2008 meeting, the WGCM, with input from the International Geospher-Biosphere Programme (IGBP)‘s Analysis, Integration and Modelling of the Earth System (AIMES) project, agreed to promote a new set of coordinated climate model experiments. These experiments comprise the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project.

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Frequently Asked Questions

In what format is CMIP5 data provided? All datum are provided, unmodified, in their native format, NetCDF (Network Common Data Format). NetCDF is a set of software libraries and self-describing, machine-independent data formats that support the creation, access, and sharing of array-oriented scientific data. For more information on NetCDF, please visit: http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/software/netcdf/.

What software tools are available for viewing and analyzing NetCDF model output data? There are many software tools available for analyzing and manipulating gridded data that natively support NetCDF format. For viewing and rudimentary analysis of NetCDF files, the following software tools are recommended:

  • Panoply is a free software tool provided by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). It is a cross-platform application which plots geo-gridded arrays from netCDF, HDF, and GRIB datasets.
  • Ncview is a free software tool provided by Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). It provides capabilities for visual browsing of NetCDF files.

For robust analysis of NetCDF data the following software is recommended:

  • MATLAB is a high-level language and interactive environment for numerical computation, visualization, and programming provided by MathWorks.
  • NetCDF C, C++, Java, and Fortran libraries are provided by Unidata for programmatically reading, writing, and manipulating NetCDF data.

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The following documentation describes the climate models that are available on the WHOI CMIP5 Community Storage Server:

  • CMIP5 Models Table (PDF) – This document describes some of the features of the CMIP5 models and provides relevant references.
  • WG1AR5 – Appendix 9.A (PDF) – This document provides detailed descriptions of the salient features of the Atmosphere–Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) and Earth System Models (ESMs) participating in CMIP5 models and relevant references.

Data Access

The documents below describe features and data access methods for acquiring data:

Presentations from the first WHOI CMIP5 Informational/Training Session

The following presentations were created for the first Informational/Training Sessions About IPCC Climate model data.

Presentations from the Second WHOI CMIP5 Informational/Training Session

The following presentations were used as part of the  January 21st CMIP5 Informational Session. The first four presentations provide examples of how CMIP5 data is used in research projects within the institution. The final presentation provides some updates about the usage and history of the CMIP5 server, available datum, and method of accessing those datum from the WHOI CMIP5 server.

Community Forums

If you are seeking additional assistance or a medium to discuss IPCC, CMIP5, or the Community Storage server, check out our Community Forums.

If you don’t already have an account, you may register here.

About People

For questions or comments related to technical support or ongoing development, please contact:

Alexander K. Ekholm
Engineer I
Physical Oceanography
Office Phone: +1 508 289 4930


Special thanks goes out to the following people for their direct and continued contributions to the CMIP5 Community Storage Project.

Caroline Ummenhofer
Caroline Ummenhofer
Assistant Scientist
Physical Oceanography
Office Phone: +1 508 289 2507
Ivan D. Lima
Ivan D. Lima
Research Specialist
Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry
Office Phone: +1 508 289 3659
Steven R. Jayne
Steven R. Jayne
Senior Scientist
Physical Oceanography
Office Phone: +1 508 289 3520
Young-Oh Kwon
Young-Oh Kwon
Associate Scientist
Physical Oceanography
Office Phone: +1 508 289 2901
Fax: +1 508 457 2181


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