Management and Analysis of Geophysical-Data Made Simple

The proliferation of available observational datasets and Climate-Model simulations has played a central role in the evolution of climate research in recent decades. However, the lack of a generally accepted data-archiving standard introduces unnecessary complexity to the management and analysis of climate related data.

GOAT (Geophysical Observational Analysis Tool) is a free MATLAB based tool designed to simplify the access to geophysical data, by providing a central management, retrieval, visualization, and analysis tool for various geophysical datasets. GOAT integrates with online OPeNDAP sources and NetCDF archives (such as CMIP5 archives) as well as *.mat files. It can also be used to import/download data as *.mat files.

By applying a uniform archiving standard to all geophysical data, GOAT enables the use of generic functions for all datasets, thereby reducing code and data-conversion redundancies, as well as facilitating inter-model comparisons and surveys. GOAT can be applied to observations, reanalyses, climate-model data.

GOAT is free for non-commercial use. It is intended for researchers, teachers, or anyone interested in climate. An intuitive graphic user interface allows browsing through geophysical data with minimal user background. The user interface is also useful as a teaching aid, for creating data subsets or for quick and dirty analysis.

Key Features

  • Automated data import of observational datasets
  • Integration with online OPeNDAP sources
  • Integration with CMIP5 NetCDF files
  • Graphical geophysical data browser
  • Easy subsetting and export of data
  • Plotting tools
  • Built-in ability to code ‘derived’ fields (i.e. fields that can be derived from other existing fields) thereby reducing storage redundancies
  • Built-in filters and operators (e.g., zonal wavenumber decomposition, running averages, etc.)
  • Auto code generation: GUI operations can be converted to script


Any element of GOAT is free to use, modify, copy or distribute provided it is for non-commercial use and that original code developers and data sources are properly acknowledged.

GOAT is developed by Ori Adam. Additional contributors are:

Tapio Schneider, Nili Harnik, Gilad Sitton, Yair Altman.