Articles | Volume 14, issue 1
Development and technical paper
22 Jan 2021
Development and technical paper |  | 22 Jan 2021

A note on precision-preserving compression of scientific data

Rostislav Kouznetsov

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Cited articles

ANSI/IEEE: IEEE Standard for Binary Floating-Point Arithmetic, ANSI/IEEE Std 754-1985, pp. 1–20,, 1985. a, b
Holton, J. and Hakim, G.: An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, Academic Press, Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, Boston, Heidelberg, London, New York, Oxford, Paris, San Diego, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, 2013. a
Stackpole, J. D.: GRIB (Edition 1) The WMO Format for the Storage of Weather Product Information and the Exchange of Weather Product Messages in Gridded Binary Form, Office note 388, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, National Meteorological Center, MD, USA, 1994. a
Zender, C. S.: Bit Grooming: statistically accurate precision-preserving quantization with compression, evaluated in the netCDF Operators (NCO, v4.4.8+), Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 3199–3211,, 2016. a, b, c, d, e, f, g
Short summary
Resetting of non-significant figures (precision trimming) enables efficient data compression and helps to avoid excessive use of storage space and network bandwidth while having well-constrained distortion to the data. The paper analyses accuracy losses and artifacts caused by trimming methods and by the widely used linear packing method. The paper presents several methods with implementation, evaluation, and illustrations and includes subroutines directly usable in geoscientific models.