E3SM Diagnostics Package v2

This documentation reflects the master branch of E3SM Diags. For documentation on specific releases, see:


This diagnostics package is constructed to support the diagnostics needs of DOE’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) project, formerly known as Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME). The ultimate goal of this work is to develop a comprehensive diagnostics package that:

  • integrates the basic functionality of NCAR’s AMWG diagnostics package;

  • utilizes most updated observational datasets, including remote sensing, reanalysis and in-situ datasets;

  • interfaces with diagnostics developed from different E3SM focus groups: atmosphere group, coupled simulation group, land group;

  • interacts effectively with the PCMDI’s metrics package and the ARM diagnostics package through a unifying framework: Community Diagnostics Package (CDP).

  • is flexible for user-specified diagnostics and configuration for use by other climate models.

Current State (v2 release)

Algorithm and visualization codes for latitude-longitude contour maps, polar contour maps, the accompanying summarizing table and Taylor diagram plots, pressure-latitude zonal mean contour plots, zonal mean line plots, pressure-longitude meridional mean contour plots, area mean time series plots, and Cloud Top Height-Tau joint histograms from COSP cloud simulator output. Plots can be created for annual and seasonal climatologies, and monthly mean time series.

The package also supports custom user diagnostics, by specifying plot type, desired region (global, ocean, land, etc.), pressure levels for variables with the vertical dimension.

For flexibility, the code structure cleanly separates data manipulation (reading input files, processing data, etc) from plotting functions. One back-end is available:

Additional back-ends could be implemented if the need arose.


Latitude-longitude contour map


Summary table


Taylor Diagram


Zonal mean line plot


Pressure-latitude zonal mean contour


Polar contour map


Cloud Top Height-Tau joint histograms


Pressure-longitude meridional mean contour


ENSO diagnostics map


ENSO diagnostics scatter plot




Area Mean time series


Diurnal cycle phase maps


Streamflow seasonality map


Mean annual streamflow map


Mean annual streamflow scatter plot

The above plots and more can be found here.

Feature availability for each backend

The table below summarizes current status of features supported by the backend.

Plot set or Feature


Latitude-longitude contour maps

Polar contour maps

Pressure-latitude zonal mean contour plots

Pressure-longitude meridional mean contour

Zonal mean line plots

Cloud Top Height-Tau joint histograms

Area Mean time series plots