Articles | Volume 10, issue 12
Methods for assessment of models
19 Dec 2017
Methods for assessment of models |  | 19 Dec 2017

A data model of the Climate and Forecast metadata conventions (CF-1.6) with a software implementation (cf-python v2.1)

David Hassell, Jonathan Gregory, Jon Blower, Bryan N. Lawrence, and Karl E. Taylor

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Cited articles

Baker, A. H., Hammerling, D. M., Mickelson, S. A., Xu, H., Stolpe, M. B., Naveau, P., Sanderson, B., Ebert-Uphoff, I., Samarasinghe, S., De Simone, F., Carbone, F., Gencarelli, C. N., Dennis, J. M., Kay, J. E., and Lindstrom, P.: Evaluating lossy data compression on climate simulation data within a large ensemble, Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 4381–4403,, 2016.
Dominico, B. and Nativi, S. (Eds.): CF-netCDF3 Data Model Extension Standard, no. OGC 11-165r2 in Open GIS Standard, Open Geospatial Consortium, 3.1rd Edn., Wayland, MA, USA, 2013.
Eaton, B., Gregory, J., Drach, B., Taylor, K., Hankin, S., Caron, J., Signell, R., Bentley, P., Rappa, G., Höck, H., Pamment, A., and Juckes, M.: NetCDF Climate and Forecast (CF) Metadata Conventions V1.6, available at: (last access: 11 December 2017), 2011.
Emmerson, S.: UDUNITS-2 package, available at: (last access: 11 December 2017), 2007.
Hassell, D. and Gregory, J.: cf-python,, 2017.
Short summary
We present a formal data model for version 1.6 of the CF (Climate and Forecast) metadata conventions that provide a description of the physical meaning of geoscientific data and their spatial and temporal properties. We describe the CF conventions and how they lead to our CF data model, and compare it other data models for storing data and metadata. We present cf-python version 2.1: a software implementation of the CF data model capable of manipulating any CF-compliant dataset.