Workshop on Closing the GRIB/NetCDF gap

From 24-25 September 2014, the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) at Reading, UK, hosted a workshop entitled "Closing the GRIB/NetCDF gap".


The form in which data are made available to different user communities can sometimes be a barrier to maximising data use and reuse. Data presented in GRIB (GRIdded Binary) may not be used by groups who work primarily with NetCDF (Network Common Data Form), and vice versa. The quantity and quality of the metadata provided can also be variable, and restrict interoperability.

Workshop aims

The aim of this workshop was to bring together experts from various domains, including the CF Metadata conventions, WMO experts in Table Driven Code Forms (GRIB) and NetCDF. Issues discussed included how mappings between GRIB and the CF Metadata convention can be established and maintained, and the governance models of the two communities.

An outcome from the workshop will be to establish a roadmap on how these governance models could work together. This will also allow us to ensure that CF-NetCDF data are fully supported within the Meteorological Archival and Retrieval System (MARS), and that the data are used to their maximum potential.

Workshop format

The workshop itself was divided into two parts. The first part 'set the scene' and consisted of presentations from various domain experts. The remainder of the workshop was taken up by breakout group discussions, leading to a clear plan for the way forward.


PDF iconProgramme


Wednesday 24 September

GRIB and Net CDF: Setting the scene
Baudouin Raoult, ECMWF
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Parameter naming in GRIB and CF
Alison Pamment, STFC  
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Applications of the CF data model
David Hassell, University of Reading
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The role of WMO inter-programme expert team on data representation, maintenance and monitoring
Simon Elliott, EUMETSAT
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Observations and measurements as a basis for semantic reconciliation between GRIB and NetCDF
Jeremy Tandy, Met Office
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Don't solve problems, copy success: Leveraging standards and convections to improve interoperability
Kevin O'Brien, NOAA
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Lesson from incompatible units of time-integrated GRIB parameters
Eizi Toyoda, JMA
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NetCDF metadata standards for climate model intercomparisons
Martin Juckes, STFC  
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GRIB and NetCDF in a world of competing standards
Matthew Peroutka, NOAA
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GRIB to NetCDF/CF as part of Unidata's THREDDS project
John Caron, UCAR
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The challenges of using NetCDF and GRIB for managing forecast data at the Met Office
Bruce Wright, Met Office
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Software for managing and sharing metadata translation information
Mark Hedley, Met Office
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ECMWF data decoding tools for users and operations
Enrico Fucile, ECMWF
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Climate Data Operators (CDO)
Luis Kornblueh, MPI
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The CF checker tool
Rosalyn Hatcher, University of Reading
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thursday 25 September

Data reference syntax - governing standards within climate research data archived in the earth system grid federation
Michael Kolax, SMHI
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SPECS NetCDF convention: Dealing with climate predictions on the ESGF
Pierre-Antoine Bretonnière and Francisco Doblas-Reyes, IC3
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A short history of GRIB
Chris Little, Met office
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On-the-fly GRIB to netCDF conversion within the MARS-ESGF integration
Sebastien Villaume, SMHI
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Data Standardization at DKRZ
Jörg Wegner, DKRZ
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Gridded data from many sources - a data-user's perspective
Heiko Klein, NMI
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Management of GRIB by WMO
Atushi Shimazaki, WMO
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GRIB/NetCDF file compression
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The workshop PDF iconproceedings are now available.


If you have any queries concerning the workshop, please do not hesitate to contact Manuel Fuentes.