MERRA-2: Data for You


AMS Special Collection Released

In conjunction with the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO), the American Meteorological Society has released a Special Collection of journal articles about NASA’s Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2). Coordinated by Mike Bosilovich in the GMAO, this Special Collection provides insight into the overall performance of MERRA-2, while addressing key research questions. Alongside an overview of the MERRA-2 system performance, the papers address key issues related to the large-scale and regional variations in weather and climate over the past few decades, including extreme precipitation events and the structure of three major El Niño events. Some of the major advances in the MERRA-2 system (compared to prior reanalyses) facilitate examination of global aerosol distributions, polar processes including ice sheet dynamics, and stratospheric ozone.

The Special Collection can be viewed at:

MERRA and MERRA-2 Data Distribution

The Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES-DISC) is the repository for NASA’s Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) and Version 2 (MERRA-2). MERRA data has been available from GES-DISC since December 2008. MERRA ceased production of new data after February 2016. MERRA-2 data became available in September 2015.

During the time that MERRA data have been available to present, Dec 2008 – April 2017, approximately 531.6 million data files have been distributed, compared to 86.4 million data files for MERRA-2 from Sept 2015 – April 2017. When comparing the same time period, Sept 2015 – April 2017, the distribution of data files for MERRA drops to 139 million. Within the last year, May 2016 – April 2017, more MERRA-2 data files than MERRA data files have been distributed in all but one month, July 2016. This was the last month the GES-DISC did not require people to register to be able to download data.

MERRA/MERRA-2 recent distribution chart

The United States leads the top 10 countries of MERRA and MERRA-2 data files distribution.

MERRA-2 country files distribution chart

The Premier of the MERRA-2 Logo

Along with the Special Collections release, GMAO has released a logo for MERRA-2. The logo depicts several fields from MERRA-2, unfolded onto the cubed-sphere grid used in the model.

MERRA-2 logo

Based on the figure (below) the fields are described as follows:

MERRA-2 folding cube graphic

1) Arctic: Topography and fraction of area covered by sea ice, snow, and (middle) clouds for October 31, 2016.

2) Americas: Topography and total precipitation for August 28, 2005.

3) Africa: Aerosol optical depth for July 21, 2012.

4) Asia: Convective precipitation and 850 hPa winds for July 2010.

5) Pacific: Top-of-atmosphere outgoing longwave radiative flux anomaly for December-January-February 1982-83.

6) Antarctic: Total column ozone for August 24, 2002.

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