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How can I read data from CRU .nc files?

You can use Netcdf Extractor for extracting time series from .nc, or .nc4 files. Netcdf Extractor version 2.0 can merge many netcdf4, or netcdf files and extract once.

In this step, it is better for you to learn several points about CRU. The University of East Anglia (UEA) archive the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) data with CEDA. The CRU data contains two different products the gridded time-series (TS) data and Year-by-Year Variation of Selected Climate Variables by Country (CY) data. In 2017 a new version of the CRU data was released, version 4 of the CRU data has an updated methodology compared with version 3. Complimentary versions of version 3 CRU data were released alongside the first two versions of the new version 4 data for comparison. Therefore there exists CRU TS/CY 3.24.01 and 4.00 that both cover the same time period but differ in methodology and similarly CRU TS/CY 3.25 and 4.01. CRU TS and CRU CY 3.25 are the final versions of the CRU version 3 data, no further version 3 data will be released and users should move to using version 4 of the CRU data. See the CEDA link, for download different data of CRU.

The CRU dataset has different sources of data with different resolution. The CRU TS series of data sets (CRU TS = Climatic Research Unit Timeseries) contain monthly timeseries of precipitation, daily maximum and minimum temperatures, cloud cover, and other variables covering Earth's land areas for 1901-2015 (CRU TS4.0 is a recent release). The data set is gridded to 0.5x0.5 degree resolution, based on analysis of over 4000 individual weather station records. Many of the input records have been homogenized, but the data set itself is not strictly homogeneous.

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