Climate Data Services

NASA’s Climate Data Services (CDS) provide a central location for publishing and accessing large, complex climate model data to benefit the climate science community as well as the broader public.

As NASA weather and climate models simulate our planet on scales from hours to millennia, they produce data sets up to petabytes in size. Such “Big Data” presents challenges to climate scientists—not to mention the government, agriculture, education, and business communities—in extracting scientific discovery and value.

CDS provides tools and services to access, visualize, analyze, compare, and publish model data. It aims to give diverse users intuitive interfaces to a complete collection of NASA model data sets. By broadening access to model data, NASA envisions advances in scientific research as well as innovative applications benefitting society.


The Collaborative REAnalysis Technical Environment (CREATE) collects all available reanalysis data into one centralized location and CREATE-V is an interactive tool to visualize the data in support of reanalysis intercomparison and climate change investigation. Read More

CDS offers data processing and publication services to the Earth System Grid Federation. ESGF provides access to the CMIP5 climate model data that is the basis for the IPCC AR5 and allows scientists to search, download, and visualize distributed data through one common web interface. Read More

As the availability and volume of Earth data grow, researchers spend more time downloading and processing their data than doing science. The NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) has developed the Earth Data Analytics Service (EDAS), a high-performance big data analytics framework built on Apache Spark, to allow researchers to leverage our compute power to analyze large datasets located at the NCCS through a web-based interface, thereby eliminating the need to download the data. Read More

Climate science is a Big Data domain that is experiencing unprecedented growth. In our efforts to address the Big Data challenges of climate science, we are moving toward a notion of Climate Analytics-as-a-Service (CAaaS). We focus on analytics, because it is the knowledge gained from interactions with Big Data that ultimately produce societal benefits. We focus on CAaaS because we believe it provides a useful way of thinking about the problem: a specialization of the concept of business process-as-a-service, which is an evolving extension of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS enabled by Cloud Computing. Within this framework, Cloud Computing plays an important role; however, we it see it as only one element in a constellation of capabilities that are essential to delivering climate analytics as a service. These elements are essential because in the aggregate they lead to generativity, a capacity for self-assembly that we feel is the key to solving the Big Data challenges in this domain. Technical Documentation

Read a short slide show on the basics of climate modeling and how the NCCS Climate Data Services supports climate and other research communities. Slideshow