Conventions

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Conventions and standards adopted by a research community are ...     Climate and Forecast Conventions

The CF conventions are specifically designed to facilitate the processing and sharing of netCDF files. They are based on the older   COARDS conventions, which they extend. The first version v1.0 of the CF Conventions was released in 2003, the current version now (2021) is v1.8. Each new version tries, as much as possible, to be compatible with older versions. The first versions, as the name implied were focusing on climate and forecast data, since the broaden their scope to earth data in general, including observational data.

CF is now widely adopted as the main standard both in the production of netCDF related code and for the publication of netCDF data. As the initial focus was to allow interoperability of netCDF based software packages, the conventions main aim is to define clearly each variable and the spatial and temporal properties of the data.

As a consequence, applying these Conventions to your netCDF files makes them more re-usable.  Most software used in Claimte science will know how to open and process correctly the files.  The metadata required will describe clearly the characteristic of the data in the files, making it easier, for a potential user, to identify correctly the variables and compare them to similar data.

Cf Conventions focus mostly on the variable and dimensions description, they adopt UNIDATA for untis standards

 
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