The IPCC Data Distribution Centre (DDC) was established in 1998, following a recommendation by the IPCC Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis (TGICA), to facilitate the timely distribution of a consistent set of up-to-date scenarios of changes in climate and related environmental and socio-economic factors for use in climate impact and adaptation assessment. While impact researchers are free to use whatever simulations are appropriate for their studies, it is hoped that the wide accessibility to these recent scenarios, and the knowledge that other research groups are probably applying them as well, may persuade analysts to adopt some or all of the scenarios held in the DDC. One of the clear objectives of the Centre is that new studies making use of these scenarios can feed into the IPCC assessment process.
Data are being provided by the DDC over the World Wide Web. All research groups supplying datasets have agreed to these being distributed by the IPCC: users are asked to cite the data suppliers when data are used in any publication. The data are provided free of charge. In some cases registration is required and commercial use is prohibited, but much of the data are unrestricted. Users are requested to register for unrestricted data so that they can be informed of possible modifications, additions and other new developments at the DDC. All data and information distributed by the DDC are governed by the DDC Data and Information Attribution Policy which ensures that clear and unambiguous attribution is given to a) the authors of the resource; b) the distributor of the resource; and c) the organization or institution responsible for reviewing or ensuring the quality of the resource (e.g., the IPCC).
The DDC is a shared operation between the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) in the United Kingdom, the Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum (DKRZ) in Germany and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University, New York, USA. Technical inputs from other centres or organizations with experience in the preparation and distribution of scenarios have also been solicited, and links are made to these groups from the DDC site.