Climate Data

CERES: IGBP Land Classification

The International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme (IGBP) defines ecosystems surface classifications. The CERES (Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System)10-minute data can be used to derive the land categories. Other, finer resolution gridded surface data are available.

temporal metadataID:





Spatial Resolution

1080 x 2160 (1/6 degree equal angle)

Ocean or Land


Missing Data Flag

spatially complete

Vertical Levels

Earth system components and main variables

  1. IGBP, 1990, The International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme: a study of global change— the initial core project. IGBP Global Change Report no. 12, International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme, Stockholm, Sweden.
  2. IGBP, 1992, Improved Global Data for Land Applications, edited by J. R. G. Townshend. IGBP Global Change Report no. 20, International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme, Stockholm, Sweden.
  3. Wickland, Diane E. 1991. Mission to Planet Earth: The Ecological Perspective. Ecology 72:1923–1933

Key Figures

Click the thumbnails to view larger sizes



CERES land classification from Surface types 1 - 17 correspond to those defined by IGBP (International Geosphere Biosphere Programme). The last 3 surface types were defined for CERES. Surface type 18, Tundra; Fresh snow, number 19, and sea ice, number 20 are not permanent surface types. They are obtained daily from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The IGBP surface type for snow and ice number 15, is for permanent snow and ice. (Climate Data Guide; D. Shea)
Land-sea mask ( ). [Climate Data Guide; D. Shea]

Cite this page

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 10 Feb 2017. "The Climate Data Guide: CERES: IGBP Land Classification." Retrieved from

Acknowledgement of any material taken from this page is appreciated. On behalf of experts who have contributed data, advice, and/or figures, please cite their work as well.