ESMValTool-workflow v1.0 launches today. Here is what you need to know

What is ESMValTool?

The Earth System Model Evaluation Tool (ESMValTool) is a tool developed for evaluation of Earth System Models in CMIP (Climate Model Intercomparison Projects). It allows for routine comparison of single or multiple models, either against predecessor versions or against observations. ESMValTool is a community-developed climate model diagnostics and evaluation software package, driven both by computational performance and scientific accuracy and reproducibility. It is open to both users and developers, encouraging open exchange of diagnostic source code and evaluation results from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project CMIP ensemble.

What are we releasing?

ACCESS-NRI is releasing an NCI configuration of ESMValTool under the name ESMValTool-workflow.

ESMValTool-workflow is the ACCESS-NRI software and data infrastructure that enables the ESMValTool evaluation framework on NCI Gadi. It includes the ESMValTool/ESMValCore Python packages, the ESMValTool collection of recipes and diagnostics and some observational datasets. ESMValTool-workflow is configured to use the existing NCI supported CMIP data collections.

ESMValTool-workflow v1.0 includes support for:

  • ESMValCore v2.9
  • ESMValTool v2.9
  • ESMValTool Tier 1 and Tier 2 recipes with live status update available here.
  • Data Pool of ESMValTool Tier 1 and Tier 2 observation datasets via the ACCESS-NRI Replicated Datasets for Climate Model Evaluation.
  • Support for CMIP[5-6] data collections at NCI
  • Native support of ERA5 monthly datasets.
  • Nightly updates of the ESMValTool development container.

ESMValTool-workflow v1.0 includes limited support for:

  • CMIP3 NCI data collections
  • ERA5 daily datasets
  • Tier 3 recipes

ESMValTool-workflow v1.0 currently DOES NOT support:

  • Diagnostics written in Julia
  • ARE (Jupyter, VDI)

How to get started?

module use /g/data/xp65/public/modules
module load esmvaltool

We are providing a series of videos to help you get started on NCI Gadi.
A quick guide is also available on the ACCESS-Hive.

We welcome contributions and feedback through the ACCESS-Hive forum. You can also request help through support.

Useful links

ACCESS-NRI/ESMValTool-workflow github repository and recipes’ live status
ESMValTool Main Page
ESMValTool Documentation
ESMValTool Tutorial
ESMValGroup Github Organisation
ESMValTool Reference papers

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Do not forget to check the videos!!

ESMValTool Training Series

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Drop-in Session for ESMValTool Workflow - Registrations are now open!!


The ACCESS-NRI Modelling Evaluation and Diagnostic Team (MED) is running a Drop-in session for the recently released ESMValTool workflow.

What to expect?

These casual and interactive sessions will start with an overview of the recently released ESMVal workflow (10-15 min). The remainder of the session will be used for informal Q&A and to assist individuals with any specific technical issues. Please join us with your questions and any feedback you may have about the ESMValtool (or workflow).

Who should attend?

While all levels of ESMValTool experience are welcome, this initial drop-in session is best suited to new (beginner) users. Additional training for more advanced users will be run in Feb. 2024 (TBC).

Event registration link
Registrations for the event are now open! This event will be hosted online, please check the following event page for the information you need:

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Getting the config user file

esmvaltool config get-config-user will copy to .esmvaltool/ folder in your home directory.

Use the –path=<folder>/ if you want to copy the file to another location.

If the file already exists it won’t copy and get the message, see below, I then deleted so it could copy:

ESMValTool v2.10.0 released and available on NCI-Gadi

New versions of the ESMValTool (v2.10.0) and ESMValCore (v2.10.0) have just been released and are now available on GADI.

(Version 2.9 can still be used by running the esmvaltool_2.9 command)

These versions are available, as usual, on GitHub, conda-forge, PyPI and as containers.

Please refer to the Changelogs for an overview of the latest changes and additions:



  • All statistics preprocessors support the same operators and have a common documentation. In addition, arbitrary keyword arguments for the statistical operation can be directly given to the preprocessor.
  • The output webpage generated by the tool now looks better and provides methods to select and filter the output.
  • Improved computational efficiency


  • Added a realistic IPCC example recipe that reproduces figure 9.3 from AR6. It computes the mean sea-surface temperature anomaly between 1850-2100 over all available CMIP6 models. See the recipe documentation or read the blog post for more information.
  • Added more plot types to monitoring diagnostic: Hovmoeller Z vs. time, Hovmoeller time vs latlon, variable vs. latitude are now available. See the recipe documentation for more information.
  • Many recipes now have up-to-date obs4MIPs dataset names so required data can automatically be downloaded from ESGF.

New Dataset Release: ESMValTool Observation Datasets

Just adding the official NCI announcement for the records:

7 February at 11:03 AM

Dear ct11 data users,

We are pleased to announce a new release as part of the Australian Earth-System Simulator National Research Infrastructure (ACCESS-NRI) Replicated Datasets. The new release represents a replica of the ESMValTool Observation Datasets (Tier 1 and Tier 2). Detailed guidance is available via the ESMValTool documentation.

Please see the NCI Data Catalogue for further information:

Users can register for file-system access through MyNCI User Portal at:

For any questions, please contact

NCI Data Collections

New dataset: Australian Gridded Climate Data (AGCD) added to ESMValTool ct11 collection

AGCD version 2 is the Bureau of Meteorology’s official dataset for climate analyses covering analysis of monthly rainfall.
Time coverage: Site-based data are used to provide gridded climate data at the monthly timescale for rainfall (1900+).
For more information see NCI record

AGCD is an ESMValTool Tier 2 dataset.
To add to recipe:
- {project: OBS6, dataset: AGCD, mip: Amon, tier: 2, type: ground, version: v2-0-1}

Any questions and support please use this forum and post a topic.

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