Get involved

We seek climate and data scientists who want to break information silos and build collective wisdom about climate data and its applications.

The Climate Data Guide is a community-authored resource. The Guide will be a living repository for the climate community’s collective wisdom and expertise on a broad array of observational datasets and their appropriate use in analyses and model evaluation.

For more about the effort and to reference it in your work, please see the open-access article below:

Schneider, D. P., C. Deser, J. Fasullo, and K. E. Trenberth (2013), Climate Data Guide Spurs Discovery and Understanding, Eos Trans. AGU, 94(13), 121.

Why contribute

  • Help improve awareness of and access to a wide range of data sets for Earth system model evaluation and climate research
  • Provide reputable, trustworthy reviews of climate data sets and their applications
  • Promote intercomparison of multiple data sets and encourage the development of improved products
  • Increase the visibility of your data set and/or work assessing data sets (you do not have to be the publisher, PI or owner of the data)
  • Reach a truly broad, global audience of scientists, industry professionals, students at all levels, government officials and NGO representatives.
  • Make contributions a part of data management and outreach strategies
  • Ensure appropriate use of data sets and prompt further community discussion
  • Increased exposure for your science and your career. Contributions are citable, and our pages are search engine friendly, helping to raise your online profile.

Data Set Criteria

We are particularly looking to establish pages on observational or reanalysis datasets that meet the following criteria:

  • Described in peer-reviewed literature
  • Publicly available, or freely available to researchers upon request
  • In-demand for model evaluation, model forcing, model initialization, or data assimilation
  • Regional to global in scale
  • Climatology or sufficient record length for climate change or climate variability studies
  • Related to any component of the Earth System
  • Contributions may discuss one variable in one dataset, multiple datasets of a single variable (for example, inter-comparison of SST data), or multiple variables in a single dataset (for example, reanalysis or I-COADS)

Other Categories of Contributions

  • Corrections and/or additions to an existing data set page
  • Guidance on strategies for climate model evaluation
  • Guidance on statistical methods
  • Guidance on data processing
  • Guidance on interpreting various model configurations (e.g., AMIP, fully coupled, initialized decadal prediction experiments, stand-alone component models)
  • Guidance on characterizing and dealing with uncertainty
  • Guidance on processing model output
  • Discussion of related issues such as data citation and metrics for climate models
  • Guidance for finding and using online data analysis and visualization tools

Content of Contributions

To gain a sense of appropriate contributions, please browse our existing Climate Data pages, especially the pages with guidance. Commentary is welcome from working scientists and must be rooted in the peer-reviewed literature. In addition to addressing the 12 questions below, contributors may provide metadata, figures, list of publications, and links to download portals and other web resources.

Please use language that is accessible to graduate students generally interested in climate science, but not well-versed in your specialty.

12 key questions to address

  1. What are the key strengths of this data set?
  2. What are the key limitations of this data set?
  3. What are the typical research applications of these data? What are examples from your work?
  4. What are some common mistakes that users encounter when processing or interpreting these data?
  5. What are the likely spurious (non-climatic) features, if any, of timeseries derived from these data?
  6. What corrections were applied to account for changes in observing systems, sampling methods or density, and satellite drift or degredation?
  7. Describe any conversion steps that are necessary or general strategies to compare these data with model output.
  8. What are some comparable data sets, if any? Why use this data set instead of another?
  9. How is uncertainty characterized in these data?
  10. Can you recommend any cloud platforms and/or online plotting tools where one can visualize and interact with these data? Please point to those resources, as well as share a few figures from your own work.
  11. Are there any publicly available pieces of code that illustrate how to access and analyze these data? If so, where?
  12. Provide a summary statement about these data and their utility for climate research and model evaluation.

How to contribute

Are you ready to be involved?

Get in touch with Climate Data Guide PIs and staff by contacting us.