Metrics for Assessing the Completeness of Climate Data Records
Bates, John

The wide availability of satellite observations of the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land surface combined with increasing computer processing and storage has led to an abundance of products that can be used to study climate variability and change. This revolution in scientific research uses of satellite observations, however, has not been accompanied by an increase use in these products for decision making. In 2010, the WCRP and GCOS, recognizing this challenge wrote to Space agencies noting that, '...there is currently no systematic international approach to ensure transparency, tracability and sound scientific judgment in the generation of climate data records across all fields of climate science and related Earth observations...'.

We have developed a metric, which we call the maturity matrix, for assessing the completeness of Climate Data Records. The proposed maturity matrix combines best practices from the scientific community, preservation description information from the archive community, and software best practices from the engineering community into six levels of completeness. These maturity levels capture the community best practices that have arisen over the past 2 decades in fielding climate observing systems, particularly satellite observing systems. Applying these metrics will go a long way towards addressing the need to ensure transparency, tracability, and sound scientific judgment to climate records.