**CF data model**¶

The CF (Climate and Forecast) metadata conventions (http://cfconventions.org) provide a description of the physical meaning of data and of their spatial and temporal properties and are designed to promote the creation, processing, and sharing of climate and forecasting data using netCDF files and libraries (https://www.unidata.ucar.edu/software/netcdf).

The CF data model 1 (https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-4619-2017) identifies the fundamental elements (“constructs”) of the CF conventions and shows how they relate to each other, independently of the netCDF encoding.

The CF data model defines a **“field construct”** for storing data
with all of its metadata. It is defined as follows:

- field construct
corresponds to a CF-netCDF data variable with all of its metadata. It consists of

descriptive properties that apply to field construct as a whole (e.g. the standard name),

a data array, and

**“metadata constructs”**that describe the locations of each cell of the data array (i.e. the**“domain”**), defined by- domain axis constructs
corresponding to CF-netCDF dimensions or scalar coordinate variables

- dimension coordinate constructs
corresponding to CF-netCDF coordinate variables or numeric scalar coordinate variables

- auxiliary coordinate constructs
corresponding to CF-netCDF auxiliary coordinate variables and non-numeric scalar coordinate variables

- coordinate reference constructs
corresponding to CF-netCDF grid mapping variables or the formula_terms attribute of a coordinate variable

- domain ancillary constructs
corresponding to CF-netCDF variables named by the formula_terms attribute of a coordinate variable

- cell measure constructs
corresponding to CF-netCDF cell measure variables

**metadata constructs**that describe the physical nature of the data array, defined by- field ancillary constructs
corresponding to CF-netCDF ancillary variables

- cell method constructs
corresponding to a CF-netCDF cell_methods attribute of data variable

- 1
Hassell, D., Gregory, J., Blower, J., Lawrence, B. N., and Taylor, K. E.: A data model of the Climate and Forecast metadata conventions (CF-1.6) with a software implementation (cf-python v2.1), Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 4619-4646, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-4619-2017, 2017.