[CF-metadata] standard names for column amounts (atmospheric chemistry)

Cameron-smith, Philip cameronsmith1 at llnl.gov
Wed Dec 19 19:18:38 MST 2012

Hi Andreas,

To propose a new standard name, the burden is initially put on the proposer to:

1) Check to see if a std_name already exists for the desired quantity (http://cf-pcmdi.llnl.gov/documents/cf-standard-names/  I like to use the HTML search capability)
2) If nothing exists, then you should try to figure out an appropriate new std_name.  Sometimes there is an easy pattern to follow, and sometimes not. The webpage above also contains some helpful guidance, but is not complete.
3) Email your list of proposed std_names to this email list, where it will be discussed, and something will ultimately be approved.

You should check out std_names with _in_atmosphere_layer, but that may not be flexible enough for your needs.

For the tropospheric column I think troposphere_mole_content_of_X would best fit with current usage.

I don't know of a current std_name that is an integrated quantity from a level to the tropopause, or surface to some level, so that would require more thought and discussion.

Note that several communities use CF, so std_names may not be obvious to you.

Best wishes,


Dr Philip Cameron-Smith, pjc at llnl.gov, Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: CF-metadata [mailto:cf-metadata-bounces at cgd.ucar.edu] On Behalf Of
> Andreas Hilboll
> Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 2:53 AM
> To: cf-metadata at cgd.ucar.edu
> Subject: Re: [CF-metadata] standard names for column amounts (atmospheric
> chemistry)
> Hi Philip,
> > Good news: we have recently been discussing just such a quantity on this email
> list.
> Yeay :)
> >  The quantity was specifically for ozone, but can easily be proposed for other
> species.
> I guess I'll need some help with that.
> > The title of the email discussion was: "new standard name proposal for total
> ozone in DU".
> I checked that discussion and do agree with everything said there.
> Now some specific questions, the most important one is the first:
> * The canonical way to specify tropospheric NO2 columns in
>   molecules cm^-2 would be to use the standard name
>   "mole_content_of_nitrogen_dioxide_in_troposphere_layer", or rather
>   "troposphere_mole_content_of_nitrogen_dioxide",
>   together with a units attribute of "molecules cm^-2"?
> * What can I do for
> "atmosphere_mole_content_of_nitrogen_dioxide_between_surface_and_XhPa
> ",
> where X is 500?
> * What about
> "atmosphere_mole_content_of_nitrogen_dioxide_between_XhPa_and_tropopa
> use",
> where X is 500?
> The latter two are most probably quantities which are of no interest to most,
> but I currently have to deal with them and would like to be as standards-
> compliant as possible. On the other hand, I don't think that it's necessary to
> create a new standard for this.
> Thanks for your suggestions!
> Cheers, Andreas.
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