Operational Climate Data Records (CDRs)In addition to embracing the National Research Council CDR definition (Climate Data Records from Environmental Satellites: Interim Report 2004) , NOAA operational CDRs are routinely assessed for quality and systematically generated. The first step in establishing an operational CDR includes public posting of the source code that generated the CDR dataset, the dataset itself, and supporting documentation through a six-phase Research-to-Operations process that is described in the Developers Guidelines.
Once posted to the NCDC webpage, the CDRs are grouped by Fundamental CDRs and Thematic (Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Terrestrial) CDRs. Fundamental CDRs are sensor data (e.g. calibrated radiances, brightness temperatures) that have been improved and quality controlled over time, together with the ancillary data used to calibrate them. Thematic CDRs are geophysical variables derived from the FCDRs, such as sea surface temperature and sea ice concentration, and they are specific to various disciplines. Thematic CDRs are often generated by blending satellite observations, in-situ data, and/or model output.