4   Output Data
The Pacific Basin Model outputs three types of data:
o  stdout output (ASCII text)
o  restart files (machine specific binary)
o  history files (netCDF), instantaneous and/or monthly average data files
The model's stdout (combined with stderr) is saved by the top-level
NQS batch job script to a directory specified by the environment
The Model's restart and history files are stored on NCAR's
Mass Storage System (MSS).
Restart files are in a machine dependent binary representation,
whereas history files are in netCDF format.
Stdout (standard out) output consists mostly of brief messages
that indicate how the simulation in progressing and whether any
error conditions have been detected.
Stdout also contains a record of the values of all input parameters.
Certain energy diagnostics are also output at regular intervals
(see the input parameter "diag_freq").
Restart files are in a machine dependent binary representation.
Because all fields from the restart file can be saved onto a history file,
normally there is no need to examine the contents of a restart file.
If one wants to examine a restart file, they will have to
look at the model source code to see how the file was written,
and write their own program to read the file and examine it's contents.
NetCDF history files
NetCDF was chosen as the history data format because
many common visualization tools already accept this format as input,
thus facilitating the acquisition of a visualization or analysis utility
to view model history files.
NetCDF (network Common Data Form) is an interface for array-oriented
data access and a library that provides an implementation of the interface.
The netCDF library also defines a machine-independent format for representing
scientific data. Together, the interface, library, and format support the
creation, access, and sharing of scientific data. The netCDF software
was developed at the Unidata Program Center in Boulder, Colorado.
The freely available source can be obtained by anonymous FTP from
ftp://ftp.unidata.ucar.edu/pub/netcdf or from other mirror sites.
Contents of the netCDF history files
The instantaneous and monthly average history files include
3d state variables such as u, v, h, & T, 2d surface forcing fields such
as Qtotal, TAUx, & TAUy, and
domain information such as the x & y coordinate arrays.
Because netCDF files are self-describing, the most complete and accurate
description of the contents of the model's history file (or any netCDF file)
will always come from the netCDF data file itself.
The netCDF tool "ncdump" will generate the CDL text representation of
a netCDF file on standard output,
optionally excluding some or all of the variable data in the output.