CMIP5 - Data Access - Terms of Use

May 2020 update: The following modified Terms of Use guidance supercedes the original Terms of Use.

All model output in the CMIP5 archive is now available for “unrestricted” use, with data usage being conditional on the following terms:

  1. I will hold no individual(s), organization(s), or group(s) responsible for any errors in the models or in their output data.
  2. In publications that rely on the CMIP5 model output, will appropriately credit the data providers by an acknowledgment similar to the following:
    • “We acknowledge the World Climate research Programme's Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modeling groups (listed in Table XX of this paper) for producing and making available their model output. For CMIP the U.S. Department of Energy's Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provides coordinating support and led development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals.”
    • Where “Table XX” in your paper should list the models and modeling groups that provided the data you used.
  3. I understand that Digital Object Identifiers (DOI’s used, for example, in journal citations) are associated with CMIP5 contributing model documentation papers, and when available and as appropriate, I will cite the appropriate model references in my publications that are using these model data.
  4. I acknowledge the potential limitations of the data obtained from the CMIP5 archive. These may include (but are not necessarily limited to) errors in the models, shortcomings in the experiment designs, the conjectural quality of the forcing scenarios used to drive the models, and so on.
  5. I understand that although the model output has been subjected to a quality control procedure, unrecognized errors almost certainly remain.
  6. To aid participating groups in understanding and improving upon their models’ behaviors, I will respond to reasonable requests from the WGCM for feedback about my CMIP5 research results (e.g., reporting model deficiencies, recording CMIP5 publications, etc.).
  7. Although I may freely share downloaded CMIP5 data with close collaborators, I understand that I may not redistribute the data more widely without abiding by additional terms of use enumerated below.

If you wish to redistribute CMIP5 data to others (beyond your close collaborators, please be sure to:

  1. Ask them to read the above "terms of use" and "acknowledgement" statements.
  2. Inform them that the original CMIP5 data can be accessed through the ESGF data portals (see or the project page at

Document version: 28 September 2021