Purpose of the DDC

The objectives of the IPCC DDC are:

  • Archive and provide transparency, traceability, and stability of data and scenarios used by the IPCC in its reports, available at the DDC or elsewhere.
  • Archive and provide transparency, traceability and stability of data and scenarios underpinning key figures and tables, and headline statements in the IPCC reports.
  • Collaborate as appropriate with data centres that hold data or provide functions relevant to the IPCC in a transparent manner, under the oversight of the TG-DATA, in close liaison with the three IPCC Working Group Bureaus (WGBs), to provide information via IPCC websites relevant to data and scenarios.
  • Curate new datasets unavailable elsewhere and link to external data sets of relevance.
  • Improve accessibility of Data Distribution Materials for supporting IPCC authors and external users, especially in developing countries.
  • Contribute to sustainable structure established and approved by the IPCC to provide observed and model data and information relevant at regional scales.

The Memorandum of Understanding for Operation of the IPCC Data Distribution Centre is available here.

Who We Are

The DDC operates under the oversight of TG-DATA, in close liaison with the three IPCC Working Group Bureaus.

The DDC is jointly managed by the DDC Partners:

  • Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN, USA). Managed by XING Xiaoshi.
  • Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum GmbH (DKRZ, Germany). Managed by STOCKHAUSE Martina.
  • Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto de Física de Cantabria (CSIC-IFCA, Spain). Managed by GUTIÉRREZ José Manuel and COFIÑO Antonio.
  • MetadataWorks, on behalf of the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Managed by ROGERS Jyoti and MILWARD Adam.

History of the DDC

The initiative to establish a mechanism for dissemination of data grew out of discussions on establishment of the Task Group on Scenarios for Climate Impact Assessment (TGCIA) at the IPCC Workshop on Regional Climate Change Projections for Impact Assessment (London, 24-26 September 1996). This Task Group was formed in a Preliminary Planning Meeting (Bracknell, 9-10 January 1997). The recommendation to establish a Data Distribution Centre was formulated at this meeting and led to the decision on the First TGCIA Meeting (Washington, 5-6 May 1997) to seek Bureau approval for a request to governments to provide the necessary financial support to establish and maintain the DDC function.

The IPCC Data Distribution Centre (DDC) was formally established by the decisions at the IPCC Bureau 14th Session (Maldives, 21 September 1997) and at the 13th IPCC Plenary (Maldives, 22-28 September 1997). An Ad-Hoc Committee on the Data Distribution Centre was formed to identify institutions to act as the DDC. Among several institutions nominated by governments, Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum (DKRZ) in Germany and the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in the United Kingdom were selected as a shared DDC operation.

The DDC was overseen by the IPCC TGCIA, which was renamed to the Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impacts and Climate Analysis (TGICA) in 2003. The governance of the DDC was reviewed by an Ad-Hoc task force in 2017/18, resulting in revised guidance and objectives adopted at 47th IPCC Plenary (Paris,13-16 March 2018): new Terms of Reference for the Task Group renamed in Task Group on Data Support for Climate Change Assessments (TG-Data) and new Guidance for the core functions of the DDC.

Between 2000 and 2009, the German DDC was operated by the Model and Data Group of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MaD/MPI-M). The Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) in the USA was invited in the TGCIA third meeting (New York, 15-17 May 2000) and in the 5th meeting (Barbados, 26-29 November 2001) to develop socio-economic scenario data link to the DDC. CIESIN became a formal part of the DDC at the TGCIA 6th meeting (Helsinki, 5-7 June 2002), which was reported to the 20th IPCC Plenary (Paris, 19-21 February 2003). British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) was invited to the TGICA 12th meeting (Exeter, 4-6 October 2006) to replace CRU as the United Kingdom DDC partner, and formally joined the DDC at the TGICA 13th meeting (Nadi, 17-19 June 2007). BADC evolved its name to the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA) in 2012. In 2019, Spanish Research Council - Instituto de Física de Cantabria (CSIC-IFCA) participated in the TG-Data first meeting (Montreal, 6-8 November 2019), and joined the DDC in March 2021. Since June 2021, MetadataWorks has participated in DDC activities, and replaced CEDA as the United Kingdom DDC partner at TG-Data F2F meeting (22 October 2021).


DDC Partner DKRZ acknowledges the international modelling groups for providing their data for analysis, the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) for the data infrastructure, the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Working Group on Coupled Modelling (WGCM) and its Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), the CMIP Panel, the WGCM Infrastructure Panel (WIP) and the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) for organizing the model data analysis activity, and the IPCC WGI TSU and CMIP International Project Office (CMIP-IPO) for technical support, and the funding agencies of each partner organization that has resourced the work. For the data of the First Assessment Report (FAR), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is acknowledged for originally archiving the data and the UCAR Data Section for its support in transferring the data to the DDC. The DDC Partner DKRZ received funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research up to AR5.