Observed and simulated climate data is used by specialists in every sector of society to study various implications of it. Thus, it is of enormous value to know the basics about various climate data sets, be they regional or global, so that an aimful purpose is achieved in utilizing the climate data. CCRD at CUI has developed this document to achieve this aim.

Climate models are one of the primary means for scientists to understand how the climate has changed in the past and may change in the future. These models simulate the physics, chemistry and biology of the atmosphere, land and oceans in great detail, and require some of the largest supercomputers in the world to generate their climate projections.

The information and links provided below points to specific climate data sets.

1. Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD)

Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) is both a scientific and a service department, and functions under the Cabinet Secretariat (Aviation Division). PMD is responsible for providing meteorological service throughout Pakistan to a wide variety of interests and for numerous public activities and projects which require climatic information. Apart from Meteorology, the department is also extending services in the fields of Hydrology, Earthquake Seismology and Geomagnetism. For details of available climate data of Pakistan, visit their website


2. The Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF)

The Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) Peer-to-Peer (P2P) enterprise system is a collaboration that develops, deploys and maintains software infrastructure for the management, dissemination, and analysis of model output and observational data. ESGF's primary goal is to facilitate advancements in Earth System Science. It is an interagency and international effort led by the Department of Energy (DOE), and co-funded by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and international laboratories such as the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ), the Australian National University (ANU) National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL), and the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA). The ESGF mission is to: 

  • Support current CMIP6 activities, and prepare for future assessments,
  • Develop data and metadata facilities for inclusion of observations and reanalysis products for CMIP6 use,
  • Enhance and improve current climate research infrastructure capabilities through involvement of the software development community and through adherence to sound software principles,
  • Foster collaboration across agency and political boundaries,
  • Integrate and interoperate with other software designed to meet the objectives of ESGF: e.g., software developed by NASA, NOAA, ESIP, and the European IS-INES
  • Create software infrastructure and tools that facilitate scientific advancements

ESGF has developed an easy to access detailed hierarchal drop-down menu setup to search for specific climate data set available with them at their website


Recently released CMIP6 data can also be downloaded from this website.

3. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

NCAR was established by the National Science Foundation in 1960 to provide the university community with world-class facilities and services that were beyond the reach of any individual institution (https://ncar.ucar.edu/)


University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

UCAR serves as a hub for research, education, and public outreach for the atmospheric and Earth system science community. UCAR's mission is to support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the university community, nationally and internationally understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related systems and the global environment foster the transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth.


Gridded Climate Data Sets are available under


4. European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is an intergovernmental organization supported by 34 States providing operational medium- and extended-range forecasts and a state-of-the-art super-computing facility for scientific research. This organization pursues scientific and technical collaboration with satellite agencies and with the European Commission. ERA5 is their recent reanalysis-based climate data product.


5. Climate Indices Data (ETCCDI)

A climate index is here defined as a calculated value that can be used to describe the state and the changes in the climate system. Climate indices allow a statistical study of variations of the dependent climatological aspects, such as analysis and comparison of time series, means, extremes and trends:


6. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is a joint space mission between NASA and Japan's National Space Development Agency designed to monitor and study tropical and subtropical precipitation and the associated release of energy. The mission uses 5 instruments: Precipitation Radar (PR), TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI), Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS), Clouds & Earths Radiant Energy System (CERES) and Lightning Imaging Sensor (LSI).



APHRODITE stands for Asian Precipitation - Highly-Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation of Water Resources. The APHRODITE group developed and released daily precipitation data on a 0.25 and 0.5-degree grid for Asia for the period 1951-2014 and daily mean temperature product for the period 1961-2014. They are the only long-term continental-scale daily grid precipitation and temperature data for Asia and include data from many rain-gauge stations.

The APHRODITE group developed and released daily precipitation data on a 0.05-degree grid for Japan for the period 1900-2011. A version that uses constant input data was also released, and this “Japan analysis” is used to study the long-term change of extreme events.


8. Artificial Neural Network supported Precipitation Datasets (PERSIANN)

The Current operational PERSIANN (Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks) system uses neural network function classification and approximation procedures to compute an estimate of rainfall rate at each 0.25° x 0.25° pixel of the infrared brightness temperature image provided by geostationary satellites. An adaptive training feature facilitates updating of the network parameters whenever independent estimates of rainfall are available. The PERSIANN system was based on geostationary infrared imagery and later extended to include the use of both infrared and daytime visible imagery.


9. Satellite based Precipitation Datasets (IMERG)

Of the possible sources of precipitation data, those based on satellites provide the greatest spatial coverage. There is a wide selection of datasets, algorithms, and versions from which to choose, which can be confusing to non-specialists wishing to use the data. The International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG) maintains tables of the major publicly available, long-term, quasi-global precipitation data sets (http://www.isac.cnr.it/ ipwg/data/datasets.html). As examples, NASA provides two sets of quasi-global precipitation data sets: the older Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) and current Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission (IMERG). Both provide near-real-time and post-real-time products that are uniformly gridded in space and time.


Precipitation Only

Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) is a 35+ year quasi-global rainfall data set. Spanning 50°S-50°N (and all longitudes) and ranging from 1981 to near-present, CHIRPS incorporates in-house climatology, CHPclim, 0.05° resolution satellite imagery, and in-situ station data to create gridded rainfall time series for trend analysis and seasonal drought monitoring.


10. Climate Data Sets for Biodiversity Studies/GIS Environment (WorldClim)

WorldClim is a database of high spatial resolution global weather and climate data. These data can be used for mapping and spatial modeling. The data are provided for use in research and related activities; and some specialized skill and knowledge is needed to use them.


11. IRI Climate Data Library

The IRI/LDEO Data Library is a powerful and freely accessible online data repository and analysis tool that allows a user to view, analyze, and download hundreds of terabytes of climate-related data through a standard web browser.

It is a powerful tool that offers the following capabilities at no cost to the user:

  • Access any number of datasets;
  • Create analyses of data ranging from simple averaging to more advanced EOF analyses using the Ingrid Data Analysis Language;
  • Monitor present climate conditions with maps and analyses in the Maproom;
  • Create visual representations of data, including animations;
  • Download data in a variety of commonly-used formats, including GIS-compatible formats.


12. Open Source Software to Display and Analyze Climate Data (GrADS)

The Grid Analysis and Display System (GrADS) is an interactive desktop tool that is used for easy access, manipulation, and visualization of earth science data. GrADS has two data models for handling gridded and station data. GrADS supports many data file formats, including binary (stream or sequential), GRIB (version 1 and 2), NetCDF, HDF (version 4 and 5), and BUFR (for station data). GrADS has been implemented worldwide on a variety of commonly used operating systems and is freely distributed over the Internet.