Welcome to the WHOI CMIP5 Community Storage Server!

The purpose of the CMIP5 Community Storage Server Project is to provide on-demand local access to a select subset of CMIP5 model output data for the WHOI community. Our goal is to simplify and facilitate access and analysis of CMIP5 model output data.

NEWS (2017-01-03): Presentations from September “Workshop on Climate Model-Based Research at WHOI” Now Available

The “Workshop on Climate Model-Based Research at WHOI”, hosted on September 8th, 2016, in Clark 507. The full schedule of presentations can be found here, and the presentations and posters are available for download below.

Presentations from the workshop:

  • Caroline Ummenhofer (PO) – “Introduction to CMIP5, CMIP6, and the WHOI server” (PDF|PPTX)
  • Scott Doney (MC&G) – “Ocean Carbon Cycle & Biogeochemistry” (PDF)
  • Hyodae Seo (PO) – “Coupled impacts of the diurnal cycle of SST on the MJO”
  • Tom deCarlo (G&G) – “Climate modulates internal wave activity in the northern South China Sea” (PDF|PPTX)
  • James Bramante – (G&G) “Do CMIP5 models capture storm variability in the WNP over the last millennium?” (PDF|PPTX)
  • Laura Fleming (PO) – “North Pacific decadal variability in the CMIP5 last millennium simulations” (PDF)
  • Young-Oh Kwon (PO) – “Winter surface storm tracks in the CMIP5 models” (PDF|PPTX)

Posters from the Workshop:

  • Caroline Ummenhofer (PO) – “Late Holocene dynamics of the Indo-Pacific tropical rain belt”
  • Elizabeth Wallace (G&G) – “Using GISS-E2-R model output to assess the relationship between the Atlantic Meridional Mode (AMM) and paleohurricane activity in the Bahamas”
  • Young-Oh Kwon (PO) – “North Atlantic Oscillation, jet, and blocking in CESM1 Large Ensemble Simulations” (PDF)
  • Jennie Rheuban/Ivan Lima (MC&G) – “Developing a model for the US Sea Scallop fishery that incorporates ocean acidification and warming” (PDF)

Presentations from the January 2015 workshop can be found here.

NEWS (2016-01-28): NCAR & CISL Announces New “CMIP Analysis Platform”

A new service, the CMIP5 Analysis Platform, has been made available from CISL and NCAR, with support from NSF, to the community of atmospheric, climate, and related sciences. This platform is designed to facilitate analysis of large-scale CMIP5 data.

David L. Hart, NCAR/CISL User Services Manager, writes:

The CMIP Analysis Platform is available to any researcher who is eligible for a small university allocation, which includes scientists with NSF awards as well as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers pursuing their dissertation or postdoctoral projects.

Please share this with any colleagues or students who may be interested.

Read more about the CMIP Analysis Platform…

Can’t find the data you are looking for?

We may be able to help. Please contact us about adding new data to the repository!

We want to hear your feedback!

The CMIP5 Community Storage Server is intended to support you, the WHOI scientific community! Help us help you by letting us know what you think of the services we provide. What have we done well? What can we do to improve?

Post your feedback in the community forums, or contact one of our contributors directly and let us know what you think. Thank you!

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.

Read more about CMIP5…

Data Access Methods

There are currently two ways to access the CMIP5 data. Establishing an NFS mount allows one to access the data directly on the server without needing to download or transfer the (large) files to one’s own local computer. Data files are effectively accessible as though they are stored on your local machine. For example, after mounting, one can point a MATLAB session running on a local workstation to the location of the data file(s) on the WHOI CMIP5 storage server and read in the data.

Alternatively, one may download/transfer files from the WHOI CMIP5 storage server via FTP using command line, a GUI client, or a web browser. This allows allow faster read speeds and the ability to modify data files if desired, at the cost of local storage overhead.

Read more about data access methods…

How to Find Data

The easiest way to find the files you’re looking for is to use the CMIP5 Community Storage Server – Advanced Dataset Search page. This page provides free-text and faceted search functionality of all available data files and a dynamic, paginated result table.

Advance Dataset Search Documentation

Advanced Dataset Search Documentation

Read More…

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.

Read more FAQ…


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.


For information about the people whose contributions have made the CMIP5 Community Storage Server project possible, please visit the About – People page.

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