North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) data sets are now available in the netCDF format, via the Mirador
on-the-fly (OTF) GRIB-to-netCDF
conversion service. The converted netCDF files are compliant with the Climate and Forecast (CF) metadata convention
In the example below, a hypothetical user selects the NLDAS-2 Noah model hourly 0.125o x 0.125o data set from Mirador and then clicks the List Selected File by Time button, which leads to a page with a “NetCDF” link for each listed file (Figure 1). Each netCDF link can then be clicked to download the files individually in netCDF format.
Figure 1. A Mirador page with the user search result files listed. Click image to view larger.
Alternatively, the user can add all of the selected files into a shopping cart by clicking the Add Selected Items To The Cart button, which will generate a page listing “Available Services” for each selected data set (Figure 2).
Figure 2. A Mirador page with the selected data set and available services listed. Click image to view larger.
Once the Convert to NetCDF link is clicked, the “Convert to NetCDF” service will be shown under the “Selected Service” column (Figure 3).
Figure 3. A Mirador page with the selected data set listed, along with the selected "Convert to NetCDF" service. Click image to view larger.
Clicking the Continue to Shopping Cart button will lead to a page with a Checkout button (Figure 4).
Figure 4. A Mirador “Shopping Cart” page that lists the selected data set along with its associated selected service. Click image to view larger.
Clicking the Checkout button will initiate batch download of the netCDF files to the user's computer system.
What is netCDF?
NetCDF is a "set of software libraries and self-describing, machine-independent data formats that support the creation, access, and sharing of array-oriented scientific data". (from the Unidata netCDF documentation page)
NetCDF was developed and is maintained at Unidata, part of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Community Programs (UCP). Unidata is funded primarily by the National Science Foundation.
You may also be interested in reading about the history of netCDF. NetCDF evolved from a data format that was created by the NASA Goddard National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC).
NetCDF is widely used; this page lists several organizations and projects that employ this data format.
NLDAS is a collaboration effort of NOAA, NASA, Princeton University, the University of Washington, and others.
The GES DISC is a NASA earth science data center, part of the NASA Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project.
Text and figures by Hualan Rui, with assistance from David Mocko. Editing by James Acker.
Questions or comments? Email the NASA GES DISC Help Desk, firstname.lastname@example.org