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ESA Cloud Climate Change Initiative (Cloud_cci): Obs4MIPs format monthly gridded cloud products from AVHRR (AVHRR-PM), version 3

Update Frequency: Not Planned
Latest Data Update: 2021-04-08
Status: Completed
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Citable
Publication Date: 2021-04-22
DOI Publication Date: 2021-04-29
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 252 Files | 19GB


This dataset provides a version of the Cloud_cci AVHRR-PMv3 monthly gridded dataset in Obs4MIPs format. The Cloud_cci AVHRR-PMv3 dataset (covering 1982-2016) was generated within the Cloud_cci project, which was funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) programme (Contract No.: 4000109870/13/I-NB).

This dataset is based on intercalibrated measurements from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensors on-board the NOAA prime afternoon (PM) satellite NOAA-7,-9,11,-14,-16,-18,-19 satellites. It contains a multi-annual, global dataset of cloud and radiation properties which were derived employing the Community Cloud retrieval for Climate (CC4CL) retrieval framework.

This particular Obs4MIPS product has been generated for inclusion in Obs4MIPs (Observations for Model Intercomparisons Project), which is an activity to make observational products more accessible for climate model intercomparisons.

Individual files are provided covering seven cloud variables:
Cloud area fraction in atmospheric layer (clCCI);
Atmospheric cloud ice content (clivi);
Cloud area fraction (cltCCI);
Liquid water cloud area fraction in atmospheric layer(clwCCI);
Liquid water cloud area fraction (clwtCCI);
Atmosphere mass content of cloud condensed water (clwvi);
Air pressure at cloud top (pctCCI)

Citable as:  Stengel, M.; Sus, O.; Stapelberg, S.; Finkensieper, S.; Würzler, B.; Philipp, D.; Hollmann, R.; Poulsen, C.A. (2021): ESA Cloud Climate Change Initiative (Cloud_cci): Obs4MIPs format monthly gridded cloud products from AVHRR (AVHRR-PM), version 3. NERC EDS Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, 29 April 2021. doi:10.5285/919157930d7447caac6d42e84e377289.
Abbreviation: Not defined
Keywords: cloud, CCI, obs4mips


Previous Info:
No news update for this record
Previously used record identifiers:
No related previous identifiers.
Access rules:
Public data: access to these data is available to both registered and non-registered users.
Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

Data were produced by the project team and supplied for archiving at the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA).

The data in this dataset are a subset of the AVHRR-PM L3C / L3U cloud products version 3.0 dataset produced by the ESA Cloud_cci project available from This version of the dataset has been produced in Obs4MIPs format.

To cite the full dataset, please use the following citation: Stengel, Martin; Sus, Oliver; Stapelberg, Stefan; Finkensieper, Stephan; Würzler, Benjamin; Philipp, Daniel; Hollmann, Rainer; Poulsen, Caroline (2019): ESA Cloud Climate Change Initiative (ESA Cloud_cci) data: Cloud_cci AVHRR-PM L3C/L3U CLD_PRODUCTS v3.0, Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), DOI:10.5676/DWD/ESA_Cloud_cci/AVHRR-PM/V003.

Data Quality:
See the ESA Cloud CCI documentation for further details
File Format:
Data are in NetCDF format. They have been formatted according to Obs4MIPs specifications.

Process overview

This dataset was generated by a combination of instruments deployed on platforms and computations as detailed below.

Computation Element: 1

Title ESA Cloud Climate Change Initiative AVHRR-PM v3 data
Abstract The AVHRR-PM dataset has been derived using the Community Cloud retrieval for Climate (CC4CL; Sus et al., 2018; McGarragh et al., 2018) retrieval framework. For further details, see the documentation at
Input Description None
Output Description None
Software Reference None
Output Description


  • units: %
  • standard_name: cloud_area_fraction_in_atmosphere_layer
  • long_name: CCI Cloud Area Fraction
  • var_id: clCCI
  • units: %
  • long_name: CCI Liquid Cloud Area Fraction
  • standard_name: liquid_water_cloud_area_fraction_in_atmosphere_layer
  • var_id: clwCCI
  • units: Pa
  • standard_name: air_pressure_at_cloud_top
  • long_name: CCI Mean Cloud Top Pressure
  • var_id: pctCCI
  • units: %
  • standard_name: cloud_area_fraction
  • long_name: CCI Total Cloud Fraction
  • var_id: cltCCI
  • units: %
  • long_name: CCI Total Liquid Cloud Area Fraction
  • standard_name: liquid_water_cloud_area_fraction
  • var_id: clwtCCI
  • units: kg m-2
  • standard_name: atmosphere_cloud_condensed_water_content
  • var_id: clwvi
  • long_name: Condensed Water Path
  • units: kg m-2
  • long_name: Ice Water Path
  • standard_name: atmosphere_cloud_ice_content
  • var_id: clivi
  • units: 1
  • standard_name: atmosphere_optical_thickness_due_to_cloud
  • var_id: tau
  • long_name: cloud optical thickness
  • var_id: lat_bnds
  • var_id: lon_bnds
  • var_id: plev_bnds
  • units: Pa
  • standard_name: air_pressure
  • long_name: pressure
  • var_id: plev
  • var_id: tau_bnds
  • var_id: time_bnds

Co-ordinate Variables

  • units: degrees_north
  • standard_name: latitude
  • long_name: latitude
  • var_id: lat
  • units: degrees_east
  • standard_name: longitude
  • long_name: longitude
  • var_id: lon
  • long_name: time
  • standard_name: time
  • var_id: time
Temporal Range
Start time:
End time:
Geographic Extent