Characterization of metadata to enable high-quality climate applications and services

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Automatic weather station
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CHARMe - About

A challenge faced by users of climate data is how to judge whether the data are fit for purpose. This challenge is a serious impediment to widening the use of climate data by both expert and non-expert users for diverse applications. Different users require different kinds of supporting information; we term this 'Commentary' metadata. For this project, we define the scope of Commentary metadata to include:

  1. Post-fact annotations, e.g. citations, ad-hoc comments and notes
  2. Results of assessments, e.g. validation campaigns, intercomparisons with models or other observations, reanalysis, quantitative error assessments
  3. Provenance, e.g. dependencies on other datasets, processing algorithms and chain, data source
  4. Properties of data distribution, e.g. data policy and licensing, timeliness (is the data delivered in real time?), reliability
  5. External events that may affect the data, e.g. volcanic eruptions, El-Nino index, satellite or instrument failure, operational changes to the orbit calculations

This definition encompasses both quantitative and qualitative metadata.

Time frame

The duration of this project is twenty-four months, and commenced in January 2013.

Project Partners

  1. The University of Reading

  2. Airbus Defence and Space

  3. Science and Technology Facilities Council - STFC

  4. Deutscher Wetterdienst - DWD

  5. European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts - ECMWF

  6. Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut - KNMI

  7. CGI (Formerly Logica UK Ltd)


  9. UK Met Office


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This research has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n°312641. It is coordinated by the University of Reading and operated by a 9 member consortium.