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A wide variety of observationally-based datasets are used for climate model evaluation. Obs4MIPs (Observations for Model Intercomparisons Project) refers to a limited collection of documented datasets that have been organised according to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) model output requirements and made available on the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF).

This effort was initiated with support from NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and has now expanded to include contributions from a broader community including ESA. Obs4MIPs underpins model evaluation in CMIP (and beyond) and thus makes a significant contribution to the assessment of and sustained improvement in model quality, e.g. as reported by IPCC. The CCI ECV projects contribute ECV data sets, which are decided to be of most interest to the CMIP community, to Obs4MIPs.


The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) ensures that the observations and information needed to address climate-related issues are obtained and made available to all potential users. GCOS expert panels maintain definitions of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). ESA's Climate Change Initiative (CCI) is a dedicated Essential Climate Variable (ECV) project.


The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) leads the way in addressing frontier scientific questions related to the coupled climate system. The WCRP coordinates and facilitates international climate research to develop, share, and apply the climate knowledge that contributes to societal well-being.


The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) mission is to support adaptation and mitigation policies of the European Union by providing consistent and authoritative information about climate change. C3S offer free and open access to climate data and tools based on the best available science.