Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA)

NOTE: The MERRA reanalysis dataset production was completed on February 29, 2016. MERRA-2, which incorporates various advances is currently in production. See MERRA-2 Project page.

These pages are no longer under development and may contain dated information.

The Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) dataset was released in 2009. It is based on a version of the GEOS-5 atmospheric data assimilation system that was frozen in 2008. MERRA data span the period 1979 through February 2016 and were produced on a 0.5° × 0.66° grid with 72 layers. MERRA was used to drive stand-alone reanalyses of the land surface (MERRA-Land) and atmospheric aerosols (MERRAero).

Many scientific and technical advances were introduced into the GEOS-5 model and analysis system for MERRA. This development work was led by Michele Rienecker and summarized in the peer-reviewed publication (Rienecker et al., 2011) that now has more than 1000 citations. Alongside the researchers who contributed to the development of MERRA, the tireless efforts of many colleagues have contributed to the success of the project. These include:

  • GMAO's Operations group, who produced the analyses
  • GMAO's Monitoring group, who continuously evaluated the data products
  • NASA's Climate Computing Center (NCCS), who provided the computational services
  • Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES-DISC), who serve the data to the outside world and monitor this distribution
  • The staff of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA Headquarters, who have supported the project