Publication & Distribution Services

CDS provides the ability to publish climate model data products through a variety of services, including classic technologies long used in the climate science community (e.g., FTP, OPeNDAP); emerging technologies (e.g., Earth System Grid Federation, UVCDAT); and advanced technologies (e.g., MERRA Analytic Services, CDS API).


The data must be public data. The NCCS will not provide data services for data that is restricted by ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulation). There is a short form attesting to the data’s public nature that must be completed before a new data product can be published through any CDS service.


Access can be either:

  • Restricted to a known group of users (usually for data still being processed or analyzed), or,
  • Unrestricted, i.e. open to the public (usually a data product).

Data Services Provided by CDS

Data Services
2D Visualization

Web Access
This is simple access via http download. This is useful for small files but provides no subsetting, visualization or analysis functionality.

FTP is a standard network protocol used to transfer files. It is efficient, particularly when using wget, but provides no subsetting, visualization or analysis functionality.

The GrADS Data Server, written by COLA, provides subsetting and analysis services for any GrADS readable datasets. Data stored on GDS can be easily retrieved from within GrADS. For more information, see the GraDS Home Page

The Live Access Server (LAS), written by NOAA, provides subsetting, visualization, access to metadata and the ability to compare variables from distributed locations. For more information, see the LAS Home Page.

The THREDDS Data Server provides subsetting, downloading, visualization and wms services. Visualization is available using Godiva2 and the Unidata ToolsUI. For more information, see the THREDDS Home Page.

The Earth System Grid Federation provides access to the IPCC CMIP5 data holdings as well as numerous other projects such as obs4MIPs and ana4MIPs. Data stored on ESGF can be searched, downloaded, and visualized through Live Access Server (LAS). For more information, see the ESGF Home Page

The Web Map Service is a protocol that provides an HTTP interface for requesting geo-referenced map images. Maps can be returned as jpeg, png, Google KML. They can also be returned as transparent layers. A viewer is required to visualize the images and CDS currently provides an in-house web based viewer. For more information, see the Open Geospatial Consotium WMS Page


The NCCS Data Services Team can help you work through the procedure for making your data available. Send an email to asking for information on setting up a data service.