NOTICE (March 2018): This website provides access to the CDIAC archive data temporarily. It will be gradually transitioned into data packages in the new ESS-DIVE archive. This site will continue to operate in parallel during and after the transition, and will be retired at a future date. If you have any questions regarding the data or the transition, please contact

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How to access CDIAC's Anonymous FTP Area

To access CDIAC's anonymous FTP files from your computer on Internet or another computer network, start at the monitor prompt on your network-node computer. At the monitor prompt (e.g., $), type:

$ftp or ftp

A prompt comes back,

Connected to

You will be asked for a user ID with the prompt

Name: (cdiac.trn):



You will then be asked for a password. Enter your complete e-mail address; for example:


You should now be logged on. If the system does not accept your e-mail address as typed, try again with a hyphen in front of the e-mail address; for example:


If this still does not work, make sure you are not trying to access our system through a gopher system and that you are not telneting to the anonymous ftp area (i.e, telnet

The system will place you at the root directory of CDIAC's Anonymous area. You need to get to the subdirectory where the data and text files are stored. At the ftp> prompt, type:

ftp>cd pub

The "cd" stands for "change directory"; cd pub will place you in the public-domain subdirectory. To check, type:


A listing will appear that names all the available numeric data packages (NDPs) and other files. At this point, copy the README and MASTER.LST files to your local computer and read them. To copy the file, type:

ftp>get README

ftp>get MASTER.LST

Select an NDP of interest, and type, for example,

ftp>cd ndp035

Note that the name of the subdirectory must be typed exactly as it appears in the listing, including a faithful reflection of the use of upper- and lower-case letters. Once in the new subdirectory, type:


and a listing of the files associated with the selected NDP will appear. The files have a variety of extensions associated with them; the normal symbolism of these extensions is:

asc   ASCII files e00   ARCINFO export files

for   FORTRAN retrieval codes

sas   SAS retrieval codes

bna   vector-coordinate files

des   README-file equivalents

dat   data files

his   station-history files

inv   station-inventory files

qa    quality-assessment files

tob   time-of-observation bias corrections

To look at just a certain type of file, use wildcards in the directory command. For example, to list all of the files with the extension asc, type:

ftp>dir *.asc

To download one of these files, type

ftp>get filename

The CDIAC system will now transfer the file to your local computer. Note that all of these files have been compressed to save storage and transmission costs. (compression is designated with a "Z" as a final extension in the file name.) If you are using a UNIX or similar system, the file will be transmitted to you in a compressed format.(NOTE:If you are using a PC, leave off the final .Z extension when specifying filenames, and an uncompressed version will automatically be downloaded). After you have logged off the CDIAC computer, you will need to uncompress the file with the uncompress command on your local computer.

For example:

$uncompress filename

The resulting file will be one containing ASCII characters that you can use as though you created it yourself on your own system.

If your system does not support the uncompress command, the CDIAC computer attempt to recognize this and automatically sense this and will uncompress the file before transmitting it to you. The transmission will take longer, but you will still end up with a file you can use as though you created it yourself.

If you wish to download several files, you may wish to explore the use of the mget (multiple-get) command. Its operation is similar to that of the get command (e.g., mget *.* where *.* stands for the entire data files located within the subdirectory.)

When you are through working on the CDIAC computer, type:


to return to your local computer.

You should also be aware that comprehensive, written documentation is available for many of the databases, models, etc. in this anonymous FTP area. If you would like to receive any of these documents, or if you have any problems accessing CDIAC's anonymous ftp area, please contact Sonja Jones: