International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS)

Data and Documentation

ICOADS Release 3.1 (R3.1) was completed in October 2017 with data covering 1662-2014, plus preliminary data and products, Release 3.0.1, for 2015-present in near-real-time.

DATA ALERT: New drifting buoy reports from BUFR available as Auxillary Dataset in IMMA1 format. See access options below in the new 'Input Data Sources' section.



Surface marine observational records from ships, buoys, and other platform types
Access from NCAR
  • Global archive (year-month) files in IMMA format
  • User interface for spatial, temporal, and parameter subsetting, and quality flag application. Additionally provides access to the ICOADS value-added database, community provided value-added adjustments, and reanalysis quality control feedback.
    • Data output: CSV ASCII format
Access from NOAA/NCEI

Monthly Summary Statistics

Ten statistics (such as the mean and median) are calculated for each of 22 observed and derived variables, using 2° latitude x 2° longitude boxes back to 1800 (and 1°x1° boxes since 1960)
Access from NCAR
  • Global archive (year-month) files in Monthly Summary Group (MSG) binary format
  • User interface for spatial, temporal, and parameter subsetting
    • Data output: tabular ASCII format
Access and Visualization from NOAA/ESRL/PSD
  • Time-series of variables and statistics in netCDF format
  • User interface for spatial and temporal subsets, and visualization
    • Data output: netCDF format

Input Data Sources

Auxiliary, preliminary, and other datasets that are in preparation to be included in a future ICOADS release
Access from NCAR
  • Data are provided either in IMMA1 or native (non-IMMA1) format. It also contains datasets in IMMA1 and non-IMMA1 formats that have transitioned into ICOADS. This dataset was created in 2018 in conjunction with the completion of Release 3.0 and efforts going forward - it is not a complete collection of inputs for ICOADS beginning with Release 1. The purpose of this dataset is to provide a common archive point for data exchange with ICOADS researchers and track the provenance as input data sources are added to official releases. These sources are not recommended for general public use and users should be aware that these are considered preliminary until incorporated into an official ICOADS release.

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Updated: Jun 6, 2018 10:20:28 UTC