List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

(updated 21 July 2017)

 Jump to

AMS maintains this acronym reference list and no longer requires that authors submitting to our periodicals expand the scientific, model, institutional, and experiment/program acronyms appearing on the list. These lists are not meant to be comprehensive, but rather to cover those terms that we see most often and that are most familiar to our readers. We welcome community feedback ( on list composition and any necessary corrections and updates. Authors may still include expansions in their papers, and copy and technical editors will ensure that the spelling and formatting of these expansions and their acronyms are consistent with the lists. 

Standard technical abbreviations and acronyms

2D two-dimensional
3D three-dimensional
ABL atmospheric boundary layer
ac alternating current
AD anno Domini
ADCP acoustic Doppler current profiler
AGCM atmospheric general circulation model
AGL above ground level
ANOVA analysis of variance
APEX autonomous profiling explorer
AXBT airborne XBT
AXCTD airborne expendable CTD
BP before present 
BT (XBT) bathythermograph (expendable) 
CAPE convective available potential energy
CAPPI constant-altitude plan position indicator 
CAT clear-air turbulence 
CBL convective boundary layer 
CCN cloud condensation nuclei
CDF cumulative distribution function
CFL Courant–Friedrichs–Lewy
cgs centimeter-gram-second 
CIN convective inhibition
cos cosine 
cpd cycles per day 
cpy cycles per year 
CTD conductivity–temperature–depth 
dc direct current 
DEM digital elevation model
DJF December–February
DSD drop size distribution
EF scale enhanced Fujita scale (EF#)
EM-APEX electromagnetic autonomous profiling explorer
emf electromotive force 
EnKF ensemble Kalman filter
ENSO El Niño–Southern Oscillation 
EOF empirical orthogonal function 
Eq. equation 
ERB earth radiation budget
erf error function 
erfc error function (complement of) 
et al. et alia/ii/iae (and others) 
etc. et cetera 
ETS equitable threat score
EUV extreme ultraviolet 
F scale Fujita scale (F#)
FAR false alarm rate (or ratio)
FDDA four-dimensional data assimilation
FFT fast Fourier transform 
Fig. figure 
FM frequency modulation 
GBVTD ground-based velocity track display
GCM general circulation model 
GIS geographical information system 
GPS global positioning system 
HF high frequency 
HVAR hybrid variational scheme
Hz, cps cycles per second 
IGY International Geophysical Year 
Im imaginary part 
IOP intensive observing/observation period
IR infrared 
ITCZ intertropical convergence zone 
IWC ice water content
JEBAR joint effect of baroclinicity and relief
JJA June–August
KdV Korteweg–de Vries
KPP K-profile parameterization
LAI leaf area index
LCL lifting condensation level 
LES large-eddy simulation
LFC level of free convection 
lhs left-hand side 
LSM land surface model
LST local standard time 
LT local time 
LWC liquid water content 
LWP liquid water path 
MAE mean absolute error
MAM March–May
MBL marine boundary layer
MCS mesoscale convective system
METAR aviation routine weather report
min minute 
MJO Madden–Julian oscillation 
mks meter-kilogram-second 
mol wt molecular weight 
MOS model output statistics
MSL above mean sea level 
MYJ Mellor–Yamada–Janjić
NAO North Atlantic Oscillation
NDVI normalized difference vegetation index
NH Northern Hemisphere 
NWP numerical weather prediction
ODE ordinary differential equation
OGCM ocean GCM
OLR outgoing longwave radiation
OSSE observing system simulation experiment
PBL planetary boundary layer
PCA principal component analysis
PDE partial differential equation
PDF/pdf probability density/distribution function
PDO Pacific decadal oscillation
PDSI Palmer drought severity index
POD probability of detection
PoP probability of precipitation
ppb parts per billion
PPI plan position indicator
ppm parts per million
ppmv parts per million by volume
PRF pulse repetition frequency
psu practical salinity unit
PV potential vorticity
QPE quantitative precipitation estimation
R/V research vessel
RAFOS not an acronym; no expansion
Re real part
RH relative humidity
RHI range–height indicator
rhs right-hand side
rms/RMS root-mean-square
rmse/RMSE root-mean-square error
RT radiative transfer
SACZ South Atlantic convergence zone
SH Southern Hemisphere
SI units International System of Units
SLP sea level pressure
SNR signal-to-noise ratio
SOFAR sound fixing and ranging
SOI Southern Oscillation index
SON September–November
SPCZ South Pacific convergence zone
SSA sea surface anomaly
SSH sea surface height
SST sea surface temperature
SSTA sea surface temperature anomaly
STP standard temperature and pressure
SVAT soil–vegetation–atmosphere transfer
SVD singular value decomposition
SWE snow water equivalent
THC thermohaline circulation
TKE turbulent/turbulence kinetic energy
TOA top of the atmosphere
TPW total precipitable water
UHF ultrahigh-frequency
UHI urban heat island
UTC coordinated universal time
UTM universal transverse Mercator
UV ultraviolet
VAD velocity–azimuth display
VHF very high frequency
w.r.t. with respect to
WES wind–evaporation–SST [often with “feedback”]
WISHE wind-induced surface heat exchange
WKBJ Wentzel–Kramers–Brillouin–Jeffreys (sometimes just WKB)
XCTD expendable CTD
yr year
Back to top ↑  

Computer terms

ASCII American Standard Code for Information Exchange
BUFR Binary Universal Form for Representation of Meteorological Data
CD-ROM compact disc read-only memory
CPU central processing unit
CSV comma-separated values
DOS Disk Operating System
Fortran Formula Translating System
FTP file transfer protocol
HTML Hypertext Markup Language
IDL Interactive Data Language
IP Internet protocol
LAN local area network
MATLAB matrix laboratory
MySQL My Structured Query Language
netCDF Network Common Data Form
OS/2 Operating System/2
PC personal computer
PDF Portable Document Format
RAM random-access memory
ROM read-only memory
TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet protocol suite
UNIX/Unix a computer operating system
URL uniform resource locator
USB universal serial bus
Wi-Fi local area wireless network
XML Extensible Markup Language
Back to top ↑  

Institutions and units of institutions

AFGL Air Force Geophysics Laboratory
AOML Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
APDRC Asia–Pacific Data-Research Center
ARL Air Resources Laboratory
ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers
BCC Beijing Climate Center 
BMRC Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre 
BOEM Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
BoM Bureau of Meteorology (Australia)
CAWCR Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research 
CCCma Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis 
CCSR Center for Climate System Research
CDAAC COSMIC Data Analysis and Archive Center
CERFACS Centre Européen de Recherche et de Formation Avancée en Calcul Scientifique
CIMSS Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies 
CIRA Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere
CIRES Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
CLIVAR Climate and Ocean: Variability, Predictability and Change (for U.S. CLIVAR group: U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Program)
CLS Collecte Localisation Satellites
CMC Canadian Meteorological Centre
CMCC Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per I Cambiamenti Climatici 
CNES Centre National d’Études Spatiales
CNRS Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
COLA Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies
COSMO Consortium for Small-Scale Modeling (maintains COSMO-Model or COSMO Model)
CPC Climate Prediction Center
CPHC Central Pacific Hurricane Center
CRU Climatic Research Unit
CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
CWB Central Weather Bureau (Taiwan)
DAO Data Assimilation Office (this is now the GMAO)
DKRZ German Climate Computing Centre (Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum)
DOE U.S. Department of Energy
DWD German Weather Service (Deutscher Wetterdienst)
ECCO Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean
ECMWF European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
ESA European Space Agency
ESRL Earth System Research Laboratory
ETH Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule 
EUMETSAT European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FRCGC Frontier Research Center for Global Change
GES DISC Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center
GFDL Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory 
GISS Goddard Institute for Space Studies
GLERL Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
GMAO Global Modeling and Assimilation Office
GPCC Global Precipitation Climatology Centre
GSFC Goddard Space Flight Center
IAP Institute of Atmospheric Physics
IAPSO The International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans
INGV Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia
INM Instituto Nacional de Meteorología (Spain)
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IPRC International Pacific Research Center
IPSL L’Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace
IRI International Research Institute for Climate and Society   
JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
JAXA Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
JCOMM Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology 
JISAO Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean
JMA Japan Meteorological Agency
JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory
JTWC Joint Typhoon Warning Center
KNMI Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut)
LASG State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
LDEO Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
LEGOS Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiale
LMD Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique
LODYC Laboratoire d’Océanographic Dynamique et de Climatologie (France) 
MDL Meteorological Development Laboratory
MEST Korean Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology
MeteoSwiss Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology
MPI Max Planck Institute
MSC Meteorological Service of Canada
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NCAR National Center for Atmospheric Research
NCDC National Climatic Data Center
NCEI National Centers for Environmental Information
NCEP National Centers for Environmental Prediction
NDBC National Data Buoy Center
NERC Natural Environment Research Council
NESDIS National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
NGDC National Geophysical Data Center
NHC National Hurricane Center
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOC National Oceanography Centre
NODC National Oceanographic Data Center
NRL Naval Research Laboratory
NSF National Science Foundation
NSFC National Natural Science Foundation of China
NSIDC National Snow and Ice Data Center
NSSL National Severe Storms Laboratory
NWS National Weather Service
OAR Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
ONR Office of Naval Research
PCMDI Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison
PMEL Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
PO.DAAC Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center
QCCCE Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence
UCAR University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
UKMO Met Office
USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDM U.S. Drought Monitor
USGS U.S. Geological Survey
WCRP World Climate Research Programme
WGCM Working Group on Coupled Modelling
WHOI Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
WMO World Meteorological Organization
Back to top ↑  

Programs, experiments, satellites, and instruments

20C3M 20th Century Climate in Coupled Models
20CR Twentieth Century Reanalysis
ACARS Aircraft Communication, Addressing, and Reporting System
AERONET Aerosol Robotic Network
AIRS Atmospheric Infrared Sounder
AMIP Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project
AMSR Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer
AMSR-E Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (EOS)
AMSU Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit
APHRODITE Asian Precipitation—Highly Resolved Observational Data Integration Toward Evaluation of Water Resources
AR4 Fourth Assessment Report
ARM Atmospheric Radiation Measurement
ASCAT Advanced Scatterometer
ASOS Automated Surface Observing System
ASTER Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer
ASTEX Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment
ATOVS Advanced Television and Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder
AVHRR Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
AVISO Archiving, Validation, and Interpretation of Satellite Oceanographic Data
AWIPS Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System
AWOS Automated Weather Observing System
BAMEX Bow Echo and Mesoscale Convective Vortex Experiment
BATS Biosphere–Atmosphere Transfer Scheme
BOBMEX Bay of Bengal Monsoon Experiment
BOMEX Barbados Oceanographic and Meteorological Experiment
BOREAS Boreal Ecosystem–Atmosphere Study
BSRN Baseline Surface Radiation Network
CALIOP Cloud–Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization
CALIPSO Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations
CAPS Cloud, Aerosol, Precipitation Spectrometer
CART Cloud and Radiation Testbed
CAS Cloud and Aerosol Spectrometer
CASES-99 1999 Cooperative Atmosphere–Surface Exchange Study
CBLAST Coupled Boundary Layers Air–Sea Transfer
CERES Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System
CFMIP Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project
CFSR Climate Forecast System Reanalysis
CHAMP Challenging Minisatellite Payload
C-MAN Coastal-Marine Automated Network
CMAP Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Merged Analysis of Precipitation
CMIP Coupled Model Intercomparison Project
CMIPx phase x of CMIP [x = 3, 5, or 6 (planned)]
COADS Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set
COARE Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment
CoCoRaHS Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network
CONTRAIL Comprehensive Observation Network for Trace Gases by Airliner
COOP Cooperative Observer Program
CORE Co-ordinated Ocean–Ice Reference Experiments (run by CLIVAR)
COSMIC Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (also Cosmic-Ray Soil Moisture Interaction Code)
COSMOS Cosmic-Ray Soil Moisture Observing System
COSP The CFMIP Observation Simulator Package
CRYSTAL-FACE Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers–Florida-Area Cirrus Experiment
CSU–CHILL Colorado State University–University of Chicago–Illinois State Water Survey
CuPIDO Cumulus Photogrammetric, In Situ, and Doppler Observations
DART Data Assimilation Research Testbed
DIMES Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean
DMSP Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
DOCIMS Drizzle and Open Cells in Marine Stratocumulus field study
DOTSTAR Dropsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region
DYCOMS II Second Dynamics and Chemistry of the Marine Stratocumulus field study
DYNAMO Dynamics of the Madden–Julian Oscillation (also Dynamics of North Atlantic Models)
EBAF Energy Balanced and Filled
ECA&D European Climate Assessment and Dataset
EC-EARTH EC-Earth Consortium (and its Earth system model)
EDAS Eta Data Assimilation System
ELDORA Electra Doppler Radar
ENVI Environment for Visualizing Images
E-OBS European daily high-resolution gridded dataset
EOS Earth Observing System
EOSDIS Earth Observing System Data Information System
EPIC Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes in the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere System
ER-2 no expansion (NASA aircraft)
ERA ECMWF Re-Analysis (this prefix is now used by ECMWF as a product name without expansion)
ERA5 Fifth major global reanalysis produced by ECMWF
ERA-15 15-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis
ERA-40 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis
ERA-Interim European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) interim reanalysis
ERBE Earth Radiation Budget Experiment
ERBS Earth Radiation Budget Satellite
EROS Earth Resources Observation and Science
ERS European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS roman but ERS-2 italic)
ERSST Extended Reconstructed SST
ERSST.v3b Extended Reconstructed SST, version 3b
ESWD European Severe Weather Database
ETCCDI Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices
ETM+ Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus
ETOP05 Elevation Data for Areas Greater than 50 degrees North
Etopo no expansion (topographical maps of Canada developed by a company called Etopo)
ETOPO2v2 2-minute gridded elevations/bathymetry for the world
ETOPO5 5-minute gridded elevations/bathymetry for the world
FASTEX Fronts and Atlantic Storm Track Experiment
FGGE First Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP) Global Experiment
FIRE First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment
FIRE-ACE First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment-Arctic Cloud Experiment
FLAME Family of Linked Atlantic Model Experiments
FSSP forward scattering spectrometer probe (initial caps when referring to PMS product)
GAME Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Asian Monsoon Experiment
GARP Global Atmospheric Research Program
GATE Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP) Atlantic Tropical Experiment
GCE Goddard Cumulus Ensemble
GCSS GEWEX Cloud System Study
GEBA Global Energy Balance Archive
GECCO German contribution to Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean
GEMPAK General Meteorological Package
GEOS Goddard Earth Observing System (not a satellite)
GEOSS Global Earth Observation System of Systems
GERB Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget
GEWEX Global Energy and Water Exchanges project (formerly Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment)
GFS Global Forecast System [operated by NCEP]
GHRSST Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (without hyphen between high resolution, see
GISST Global Sea Ice and Sea Surface Temperature dataset
GISTEMP Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Surface Temperature Analysis
GLACE Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment
GLDAS Global Land Data Assimilation System
GLOWA Global Change and the Hydrological Cycle
GMI Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager
GODAE Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment
GODAS Global Ocean Data Assimilation System
GOES Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-1)
GPCP Global Precipitation Climatology Project
GPI Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) precipitation index
GPM Global Precipitation Measurement
GPROF Goddard profiling algorithm
GR-1 see R-1
GR-2 see R-2
GRACE Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment
GRIP Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (also Greenland Ice Core Project)
GSI Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation analysis system
GSMaP Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation
GSOP Global Synthesis and Observations Panel
GSS Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Cloud System Study
GSSTF Goddard Satellite-based Surface Turbulent Fluxes
GSWP Global Soil Wetness Project
GTOPO30 Global 30 arc s elevation dataset
HadCRUT4 Hadley Centre/Climatic Research Unit, version 4
HadISST Hadley Centre Sea Ice and Sea Surface Temperature dataset
HadSLP1 First Hadley Centre Sea Level Pressure dataset
HAPEX-MOBILHY Hydrological Atmospheric Pilot Experiment-Modelisation du Bilan Hydrique
HCDN Hydro-Climatic Data Network
HIRS High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder
HOAPS Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data
HRDI High Resolution Doppler Imager
HRST Historical Russian soil temperature
HSB Humidity Sounder for Brazil [on board Aqua]
HURDAT/HURDAT2 NHC "best track" hurricane database (no caps)
HVPS high-volume precipitation spectrometer
HydroSHEDS Hydrological Data and Maps Based on Shuttle Elevation Derivatives at Multiple Scales
IBTrACS International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship
ICARTT International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation
ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
ICESat Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat-1 but ICESat-2)
ICOADS International Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IGBP International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme
IHOP_2002 International H2O Project
IMERG Integrated Multisatellite Retrievals for GPM
IMILAST Intercomparison of mid latitude storm diagnostics (there is a space between mid and latitude;
IMPROVE-2 second Improvement of Microphysical Parameterization through Observational Verification Experiment
ISCCP International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project
ISLSCP International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project
ISS Integrated Sounding System (usually with NCAR)
JASMINE Joint Air–Sea Monsoon Interaction Experiment
JONSWAP Joint North Sea Wave Project
JRA-25 Japanese 25-year Reanalysis Project
JRA-55 Japanese 55-year Reanalysis
LBA Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment
LEO low-Earth orbiting (add hyphen after Earth if being used as an adjective)
LIS Lightning Imaging Sensor
LMA Lightning Mapping Array
LOWTRAN Low-Resolution Atmospheric Transmission
MARGO Multiproxy Approach for the Reconstruction of the Glacial Ocean Surface
MAS MODIS Airborne Simulator
MAST Monterey Area Ship Track
MASTER MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator
M-CLASS Mobile Cross-Chain Loran Atmospheric Sounding System
MERRA Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications
MetOp Meteorological Operational satellites [series of satellites; for single satellites, e.g., Meteorological Operational Satellite-A (MetOp-A)]
M-GLASS Mobile GPS/Loran Atmospheric Sounding System
MiKlip Decadal Predictions (Mittelfristige Klimaprognosen)
MidCiX Middle Latitude Cirrus Experiment
MISR Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer
MLS Microwave Limb Sounder
MODIS Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
MODTRAN moderate resolution atmospheric transmission
MOSES Met Office Surface Exchange Scheme
MOZAIC Measurement of Ozone and Water Vapor by Airbus In-Service
MPDATA multidimensional positive definite advection transport algorithm
MRMS Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system
MSS Multispectral Scanner
MSU Microwave Sounding Unit
NARCCAP North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program
NARR North American Regional Reanalysis
NCODA Navy Coupled Ocean Data Assimilation
NEXRAD Next Generation Weather Radar
NLDAS North American Land Data Assimilation System
NLDN National Lightning Detection Network
NMQ National Mosaic and Multi-Sensor Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE)
NPOESS National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System
NSIPP NASA’s Seasonal-to-Interannual Prediction Project
NVAP NASA’s Water Vapor Project
OAFlux objectively analyzed air–sea fluxes
OAP optical array probe
OPTRAN optical path transmittance
OSCAR Ocean Surface Currents Analyses–Real Time
(P)ALACE (profiling) autonomous Lagrangian circulation explorer
PATMOS-x Pathfinder Atmospheres–Extended
PCASP passive cavity aerosol spectrometer probe
PERSIANN Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information Using Artificial Neural Networks
PILPS Project for the Intercomparison of Land-Surface Parameterization Schemes
PIRATA Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic
PIZA Population-Interaction Zones for Agriculture
PMIP Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project
PR [TRMM] Precipitation Radar
PREDICT Pre-Depression Investigation of Cloud-systems in the Tropics
PRE-STORM Preliminary Regional Experiment for STORM-Central
PROBE Program for Boundary Layers in the Environment
PRUDENCE Prediction of Regional Scenarios and Uncertainties for Defining European Climate Change Risks and Effects
QuikSCAT Quick Scatterometer (no italics, NASA is fine if included by author)
R-1 the Kalnay et al. (1996)/Kistler et al. (2001) NCEP–NCAR reanalyses (aka Reanalysis-1, Global Reanalysis 1, GR-1, GR1, R1, and NCEP-1)
R-2 NCEP–DOE AMIP-II reanalysis (also referred to as Reanalysis-2, Global Reanalysis 2, GR-2, GR2, R2, and NCEP-2)
RADS Radar Altimeter Database System
RAINEX Hurricane Rainband and Intensity Change Experiment
RAPID–MOCHA Rapid Climate Change–Meridional Overturning Circulation and Heatflux Array
RASS radio acoustic sounding system
READER Reference Antarctic Data for Environmental Research
REAL Raman-shifted Eye-safe Aerosol Lidar
RTTOV Radiative Transfer for the Television and Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS)
RUC Rapid Update Cycle
SAGE Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment
SCIAMACHY Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Cartography
SCSMEX South China Sea Monsoon Experiment
SeaWiFS Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor
SEVIRI Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager
SHADOZ Southern Hemisphere Additional Ozonesondes
SHEBA Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean
SIRS Solar and Infrared Radiation Station
SIRTA Site Instrumental de Recherche en Télédétection Atmosphérique
SMAP Soil Moisture Active Passive (mission)
SMMR Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer
SMOS Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (mission/satellite)
SNOTEL Snowpack Telemetry
SODA Simple Ocean Data Assimilation
SOLAS Surface Ocean–Lower Atmosphere Study
S-Pol S-band dual-polarization Doppler radar
SPOT Système Pour l’Observation de la Terre
SRB surface radiation budget (caps for the NASA/GEWEX database)
SRES Special Report on Emissions Scenarios
SRTM Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
SRTM30 SRTM global bathymetry and elevation data at 30 arc s resolution
SRTM30_PLUS SRTM global bathymetry and elevation data at 30 arc s resolution with data voids filled
SSALTO Segment Sol multimissions d’ALTimétrie, d’Orbitographie et de localisation précise
SSM/I Special Sensor Microwave Imager
SSM/IS [Dept. of Defense]; SSMIS [NOAA] Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder
SSM/T Special Sensor Microwave Temperature Profiler
SSU Stratospheric Sounding Unit
STORM-FEST Storm-scale Operational and Research Meteorology-Fronts Experiment Systems Test
Suomi NPP/SNPP Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership
SURFRAD Surface Radiation Budget Network
TAO Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (caps when buoy array is being discussed)
TAR Third Assessment Report
TCPF Tropical Cyclone Precipitation Feature database
TELEX Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning Experiment
TEPPS Tropical East Pacific Process Studies
THORPEX The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment
TIGGE THORPEX Interactive Grand Global Ensemble
TIROS Television and Infrared Observation Satellite
TM Thematic Mapper (as in Landsat TM)
TMI Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager
TMPA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis
TOGA COARE Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment
TOMS Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer
TOPEX Ocean Topography Experiment [often (TOPEX)/Poseidon (T/P)]
TOVS Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder
T-REX Terrain-Induced Rotor Experiment
TRITON Triangle Trans-Ocean Buoy Network
TRMM Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission
UARS Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite
UAV unmanned aerial vehicle (caps are used for ARM Project’s Unmanned Aerospace Vehicle)
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
USHCN U.S. Historical Climatology Network
VAMOS Variability of American Monsoon Systems
VAPIC Water Vapour Profiling Inter-Comparison field experiment
VEMAP Vegetation-Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Program
VIIRS Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite
VIRS Visible and Infrared Scanner
VORTEX Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment
WCR Wyoming Cloud Radar
WDSS-II Warning Decision Support System–Integrated Information
WEAP Weather Evaluation and Planning
WOCE World Ocean Circulation Experiment
WSM3 WRF single-moment 3-class
WSM6 WRF single-moment 6-class microphysics scheme
WSR-88D Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler
Back to top ↑  

Climatic, meteorological, oceanographic, and other models

ACCESS1.0 Australian Community Climate and Earth-System Simulator, version 1.0
ACCESS1.3 Australian Community Climate and Earth-System Simulator, version 1.3
ACOM2 Australian Community Ocean Model 2    
AGISM Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheet Model
ALADIN Aire Limitée Adaptation Dynamique Développement International
ALEXI Atmosphere–Land Exchange Inverse model
AMD angular directional model
AOGCM atmosphere–ocean general circulation model
ARCSYM Arctic Regional Climate System Model
ARPEGE Action de Recherche Petite Echelle Grande Echelle
ARPS Advanced Regional Prediction System
ARW Advanced Research version of WRF (see also WRF-ARW)
BCC_CSM1.1 Beijing Climate Center, Climate System Model, version 1.1
BCC_CSM1.1(m) Beijing Climate Center, Climate System Model, version 1.1 (moderate resolution)
BCCR-BCM2.0 Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research Bergen Climate Model, version 2.0
BMRC BAM3 Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre Atmospheric Model, version 3
BNU-ESM Beijing Normal University–Earth System Model
CAM3.0 Community Atmosphere Model, version 3.0
CanAM4 (or AGCM4) Fourth Generation Canadian Atmospheric General Circulation Model
CanCM4 (or CGCM4) Fourth Generation Canadian Coupled Global Climate Model
CanESM2 Second Generation Canadian Earth System Model
CCM Community Climate Model (NCAR) [or Chemistry–Climate Model (NASA GISS)]; should be specified
CCSM2 Community Climate System Model, version 2
CCSM3 Community Climate System Model, version 3
CCSM4 Community Climate System Model, version 4
CDAS Climate Data Assimilation System
CDR PERSIANN–Climate Data Record
CESM1(BGC) Community Earth System Model, version 1 (biogeochemistry, or carbon cycle)
CESM1(CAM5) Community Earth System Model, version 1 (Community Atmosphere Model, version 5)
CESM1(CISM) Community Earth System Model, version 1 (ice sheet model)
CESM1(FASTCHEM) Community Earth System Model, version 1 [Community Atmosphere Model with Chemistry (CAM-chem)]
CESM1(WACCM) Community Earth System Model, version 1 (Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model)
CFS or CFSv1 Climate Forecast System (sometimes used alone or in conjunction with version 1)
CFSv2 Climate Forecast System, version 2
CGCM coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model 
CGCM3.1 CCCma Coupled Global Climate Model, version 3.1 (may also include T47 or T63 for spectral resolution of model)
CICE Los Alamos Sea Ice Model or Community Ice Code
CISM Community Ice Sheet Model
CLIMBER Climate and Biosphere Model
CLIO Coupled Large-Scale Ice Ocean
CLIPER climatology and persistence statisical models
CLM3 Community Land Model, version 3
CMAM Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model
CMCC-CESM Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per I Cambiamenti Climatici Carbon Cycle Earth System Model
CMCC-CM Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per I Cambiamenti Climatici Climate Model
CMCC-CMS Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per I Cambiamenti Climatici Stratosphere-resolving Climate Model
CMOC Canadian Model of Ocean Carbon
CMORPH CPC morphing technique
CNRM-CM3 Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques Coupled Global Climate Model, version 3
CNRM-CM5 Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques Coupled Global Climate Model, version 5
COAMPS Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System 
COART Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Radiative Transfer Model
COCO4.5 Center for Climate System Research (CCSR) Ocean Component Model, version 4.5 [CCSR is now the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute (AORI) at the U. of Tokyo]
CRCM Canadian Regional Climate Model
CSIM Community Sea Ice Model
CSIRO Mk3.0 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Mark 3.0
CSIRO Mk3.6.0 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Mark 3.6.0
CSM1.0 Climate System Model, version 1.0
CTEM Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model
DARLAM Division of Atmospheric Research Limited Area Model
DEMETER Development of a European Multimodel Ensemble System for Seasonal-to-Interannual Prediction
DGVM dynamic global vegetation model
DISORT Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer model
DOCN Climatological Data Ocean Model
ECBilt/CLIO Earth system models of intermediate complexity Climate deBilt/Coupled large-scale ice ocean
EC-EARTH European Consortium Earth System Model
ECHAM5 no expansion used; it is very long and involves ECMWF, Hamburg, etc. (also ECHAM4)
ECHO-G ECHAM4 and the global Hamburg Ocean Primitive Equation
ECPC-RSM Experimental Climate Prediction Center Regional Spectral Model
EMBS Episodic mixing and buoyancy-sorting models
EMIC Earth system models of intermediate complexity
ENSEMBLES Ensemble-Based Predictions of Climate Changes and Their Impacts
ESM  Earth system model 
ESGF Earth System Grid Federation
ESMF Earth System Modeling Framework
FAIR 2.0 Framework to Assess International Regimes for Differentation of Commitments, version 2.0
FAMOUS Fast Met Office/U.K. Universities Simulator
FASTEM Fast Emissivity Model
FGOALS-g1.0 Flexible Global Ocean–Atmosphere–Land System Model, gridpoint version 1.0 (source reference is for "g2," but similar)
FGOALS-s2 Flexible Global Ocean–Atmosphere–Land System Model, second spectral version
FIO-ESM First Institute of Oceanography (FIO) Earth System Model (ESM)
FOAM-LPJ Fast Ocean Atmosphere Model–Lund Potsdam Jena Land Model
FROALS Flexible Regional Ocean Atmosphere Land System 
FSUGSM Florida State University Global Spectral Model
GCM general circulation model (OR global climate model)
GDAS Global Data Assimilation System
GEFS Global Ensemble Forecast System
GEOS-5 Goddard Earth Observing System Model, version 5
GFDL CM2.0 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Climate Model, version 2.0
GFDL CM2.1 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Climate Model, version 2.1
GFDL CM3 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Climate Model, version 3
GFDL-ESM2G Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Earth System Model with GOLD component
GFDL-ESM2M Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Earth System Model with MOM, version 4 component
GFS Global Forecast System [may include cycle (cy) and revision (r) information]
GISS-AOM Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Atmosphere–Ocean Model [also GISS-Fast AOM (FAOM)]
GISS-E2-H Goddard Institute for Space Studies Model E2, coupled with HYCOM (see expansion below)
GISS-E2-R Goddard Institute for Space Studies Model E2, coupled with the Russell ocean model
GISS-E2CS-H/R GISS Model E2 using cubed-sphere grid coupled with either HYCOM or Russell
GISS-E2-H/R-CC GISS Model E2, coupled with either HYCOM or Russell and interactive terrestrial carbon cycle (and oceanic biogeochemistry)
GISS-ER Goddard Institute for Space Studies Model E, coupled with the Russell ocean model
GOCART Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport model
GOLD Generalized Ocean Layer Dynamics
HadAM3 Hadley Centre Atmosphere Model, version 3
HadCM3 Hadley Centre Coupled Model, version 3
HadGEM1 Hadley Centre Global Environment Model, version 1
HadGEMx-yy Hadley Centre Global Environment Model, version x (x = 1, 2, or 3)
  with yy configurations for HadGEM2 and HadGEM3:
  A = Atmosphere and land
  AO = A and O configurations
  CC = Carbon Cycle (includes AO configuration with biogeochemistry, sometimes includes CCS, with S for stratospheric processes)
  ES = Earth System (includes CC configuration with chemistry)
  O = Ocean and sea ice
  RA = Regional Atmosphere
HadRM3 Hadley Centre Regional Climate Model, version 3
HBV Water Balance Department of the Hydrological Bureau (Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning) model
HiRAM High Resolution Atmospheric Model (sometimes configurations -C180 and -C360 are included denoting 180 x 180 and 360 x 360 gridpoint resolutions, respectively)
HIRHAM no expansion 
HIRLAM High Resolution Limited Area Model
HOPE Hamburg Ocean Primitive Equation Model (sometimes with “-G” for “global”)
HSAMI Service Hydrométéorologique Apports Modules Intermédiaires
HTESSEL Hydrology Tiled ECMWF Scheme of Surface Exchanges over Land
HWRF Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Model
HYCOM Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model
HyMAP Hydrological Modeling and Analysis Platform
HYSPLIT Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model
IBIS Integrated Biosphere Simulator
IFS Integrated Forecast System [may include cycle (cy) and revision (r) information]
IMAGE Integrated Model to Assess the Global Environment
INGV-SXG Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, SINTEX-G
INM-CM3.0 Institute of Numerical Mathematics Coupled Model, version 3.0
INM-CM4.0 Institute of Numerical Mathematics Coupled Model, version 4.0
IPSL-CM4 L’Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace Coupled Model, version 4
IPSL-CM5A-LR L'Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace Coupled Model, version 5A, low resolution
IPSL-CM5A-MR L'Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace Coupled Model, version 5A, mid resolution
IPSL-CM5B-LR L'Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace Coupled Model, version 5B, low resolution
ISBA Interactions between Soil, Biosphere, and Atmosphere
JSBACH Jena Scheme for Biosphere–Atmosphere Coupling in Hamburg
JULES Joint UK Land Environment Simulator
LDAS Land Data Assimilation System
LEAF-2 Land Ecosystem–Atmosphere Feedback model, version 2
LICOM State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics/Institute of Atmospheric Physics (LASG/IAP) Climate Ocean Model 
LIM Louvain-la-Neuve Sea Ice Model
LMDZ Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique zoom model
LOCH Liège Ocean Carbon Heteronomous model
MAGICC Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change
MAPS Mesoscale Analysis and Prediction System
MCIM mixed cloud isotopic model
Meso-NH no expansion
MIROC3.2 (hires) Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, version 3.2 (high resolution)
MIROC3.2 (medres) Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, version 3.2 (medium resolution)
MIROC4h Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, version 4 (high resolution)
MIROC5 Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, version 5 
MIROC-ESM Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, Earth System Model
MIROC-ESM-CHEM Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, Earth System Model, Chemistry Coupled
MITgcm Massachusetts Institute of Technology General Circulation Model
MIUBECHOG Meteorological Institute of the University of Bonn, ECHO-G Model
MM5 Fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model 
MODFLOW Modular three-dimensional finite-difference groundwater flow model
MOM Modular Ocean Model
MOSES Met Office Surface Exchange Scheme
MPAS Model for Prediction Across Scales
MPI-ESM-LR Max Planck Institute Earth System Model, low resolution 
MPI-ESM-MR Max Planck Institute Earth System Model, medium resolution 
MPI-ESM-P Max Planck Institute Earth System Model, paleoclimate
MPI-OM Max Planck Institute Ocean Model
MRF Medium-Range Forecast Model (predecessor to GFS, 2002)
MRI-AGCM3.2H Meteorological Research Institute Atmospheric General Circulation Model, version 3.2 (high resolution)
MRI-AGCM3.2S Meteorological Research Institute Atmospheric General Circulation Model, version 3.2 (super-high resolution)
MRI-CGCM2.3.2a Meteorological Research Institute Coupled Atmosphere–Ocean General Circulation Model, version 2.3.2a
MRI-CGCM1 Meteorological Research Institute Coupled Atmosphere–Ocean General Circulation Model, version 1
MRI-CGCM3 Meteorological Research Institute Coupled Atmosphere–Ocean General Circulation Model, version 3
MRI-ESM1 Meteorological Research Institute Earth System Model, version 1
NAM North American Mesoscale Forecast System
NEMO Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean
NMM Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model [typically used in conjunction with WRF (WRF-NMM)]
Noah NOAA/NCEP–Oregon State University–Air Force Research Laboratory–NOAA/Office of Hydrology land surface model
Noah-MP Noah LSM with multiparameterization (or multiphysics) options
NOGAPS Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System
NorESM1-M Norwegian Earth System Model, version 1 (intermediate resolution)
NorESM1-ME NorESM1-M with carbon cycling (and biogeochemistry)
OASIS 2.0 Ocean Atmosphere Sea Ice Soil, version 2.0
OGCM Ocean General Circulation Model
OFES Ocean General Circulation Model for the Earth Simulator
OISST2 or OISSTv2 Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature, version 2
OPA Océan Parallélisé  [e.g., Océan Parallélisé (OPA) 8.1, now part of NEMO]
OPYC3 Ocean Isopycnal Model
ORCA no expansion (an OGCM grid mesh, e.g., ORCA2 for 2° and ORCA05 for 0.5° projection)
ORCHIDEE Organizing Carbon and Hydrology in Dynamic Ecosystems
PCM Parallel Climate Model
PERSIANN-CCS PERSIANN–Cloud Classification System
POAMA-1 Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia
POEM Potsdam Earth Model
POM Princeton Ocean Model
POP Parallel Ocean Program
PORT Parallel Offline Radiative Transfer
PPE perturbed physics ensemble
PRISM Parameter-Elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model
PRMS Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System
QTCM1 Quasi-equilibrium Tropical Circulation Model 
RACMO2 Regional Atmospheric Climate Model, version 2
RAMS Regional Atmospheric Modeling System
RAP Rapid Refresh
RCA Rossby Center Regional Atmospheric Model
RCP representative concentration pathway
RCM regional climate model (refers to a generic regional climate model)
RegCM3 Regional Climate Model, version 3
ROMS Regional Ocean Modeling System
RRTM Rapid Radiative Transfer Model
RUC Rapid Update Cycle
SAC-SMA Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting (SAC-SMA) model
SECHIBA Schématisation des Échanges Hydriques à l’Interface Biosphère et l'Atmosphère 
SHIFOR Statistical Hurricane Intensity Forecast model
SHIPS Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme
SiB Simple Biosphere Model
SINTEX Scale Interaction Experiment
SINTEX-F SINTEX–Frontier Research Center for Global Change (FRCGC) model
SOM slab ocean model
SWAT Soil and Water Assessment Tool
TOPMODEL not an acronym; no expansion 
TRIFFID Top-down Representation of Interactive Foliage and Flora Including Dynamics
TPXO Oregon State University TOPEX/Poseidon Global Inverse Solution tidal model
UVic ESCM University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model 
VECODE Vegetation Continuous Description
VIC Variable Infiltration Capacity model
WACCM Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model
WRF Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model; Model after acronym per developers
WRF-ARW Advanced Research version of WRF (see also ARW)
Back to top ↑