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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 CMIP5 model output requirements and made available on the ESG. 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 has been initiated with support from NASA and DOE with the intent of enabling additional data providers to contribute products (origins of obs4mips).

To summarize, products 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 (see below)
- Well documented, with traceability to track product version changes
- Served through ESGF


  • Waliser, D., Gleckler, P. J., Ferraro, R., Taylor, K. E., Ames, S., Biard, J., Bosilovich, M. G., Brown, O., Chepfer, H., Cinquini, L., Durack, P. J., Eyring, V., Mathieu, P.-P., Lee, T., Pinnock, S., Potter, G. L., Rixen, M., Saunders, R., Schulz, J., Thépaut, J.-N., and Tuma, M (2020): Observations for Model Intercomparison Project (Obs4MIPs): status for CMIP6, Geosci. Model Dev., 13, 2945–2958,,
  • Gleckler, P., R. Ferraro, and D. Waliser (2011): Improving use of satellite data in evaluating climate models, Eos Trans. AGU, 92(20), doi:10.1029/2011EO200005
  • Taylor, K E., Stouffer, R., and G A Meehl (2011): An Overview of CMIP5 and the experiment design. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. DOI:10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00094.1.
  • Teixeira, J., D. Waliser, R. Ferraro, P. Gleckler and G. Potter, 2011: Satellite Observations for CMIP5 Simulations. CLIVAR Exchanges No. 56, Vol. 16, No.2, May 2011
  • Hall, T.M., D.W. Waugh, K.A. Boering, and R.Alan Plumb, 1999: Evaluation of transport in stratospheric models. J. Geophys. Res., 104, D15, 8815-18839.