The CF standard was originally framed as a standard for data written in netCDF format, with model-generated climate forecast data particularly in mind. However, it is equally applicable to observational datasets, and can be used to describe other formats. It is a standard for “use metadata” that aims both to distinguish quantities (such as physical description, units, and prior processing) and to locate the data in space–time.
Sponsored by the NetCDF Climate and Forecast Metadata Convention, the current version dates from December 2011.
Developed by the Cooperative Ocean-Atmosphere Research Data Service (COARDS), these conventions constitute a standard set of metadata to include in netCDF files, allowing them to be shared and interchanged.
The COARDS Conventions are generalised and extended by the CF (Climate and Forecast) Metadata Conventions.
A set of software libraries and self-describing, machine-independent data formats that conform to the CF metadata conventions. They support the creation, access, and sharing of array-oriented scientific data.
This national facility for looking after and distributing data concerning the marine environment requires that data sets use a well-documented format such as CF-compliant NetCDF and be accompanied by a Dublin Core record as well as discovery metadata in a recognised standard such as DIF or FGDC/CDGM.
Ocean Networks Canada operates the NEPTUNE and VENUS cabled ocean observatories that collect data on physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of the ocean over long time periods, supporting research on complex Earth processes. The CF standard is used within netCDF data products delivered through the Oceans 2.0 interface and via OPeNDAP webservices.