This section provides information and examples on finding and accessing the research data at NCI.

Examples fall into the following categories:
- Use cases from specific research fields
- Getting started with CMIP data and the ESGF
- Software tools and data services available at NCI (in prep)

Key Learnings from this category are:
- Data may contain observation, modelling or processing errors, which can lead to added uncertainty in results at least, and at worst cause models to fail.
- Get to know your data in a way that allows you to identify when things are wrong. If you are familiar with the scientific aspects of the data and how it behaves (expected ranges, means, variances, and the like), it will be easier to spot when problems are due to the data itself or to a bug in your code. Developing these diagnostic skills is vital to ensure your analysis produces good science that stands up to rigorous scrutiny.

Feedback and additional examples for any of these courses are welcome, and may be sent to the teachers listed with each course, or to

Introduction to how to find and use CMIP data on the filesystem at NCI.

Authors: Paola Petrelli, Claire Trenham


The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5), following 3 previous generations, is a product of the World Climate Research Programme. The data is a core component of the work of most climate scientists, as well as scientists in many related fields including ecology, resource management, and ocean/atmosphere modelling.

CMIP5 data, along with a number of other data collections, is distributed via the Earth Systems Grid Federation (ESGF) of distributed data nodes around the planet. One such data repository is held at NCI and serves the Australian climate community.

This course provides an induction into accessing CMIP5 data on the NCI's Raijin or VDI systems, and using related data services and tools.

It means to give an introduction into the complex CMIP organisation for new users of the data.

Section plan

1) Satisfying CMIP5 Terms and Conditions of Use

2) CMIP official DRS

3) Data organisation on Raijin

4) Available local tools

5) Confluence and other online resources

6) Using the ESGF

This course contains a number of use case examples for the following communities:

  • Astronomy
  • AusCover
  • Australian Geoscience Data Cube (AGDC)
  • Climate & Weather
  • Genomics
  • Geophysics

Note you must belong to appropriate data projects to be able to access their data.