A Climate Data Record (CDR), as defined by the National Research Council (NRC) is a time series of measurements with sufficient length, consistency, and continuity to identify climate variability and change. They are fundamental to the generation of Essential Climate Variables (ECV), defined by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).
The Landsat archive provides a record of observations from 1972 to the present, and will continue into the future. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is capitalizing on this valuable time series to create CDRs and ECVs that can be used to document changes to Earth's terrestrial environment. CDRs and ECVs provide an authoritative basis for regional to continental scale identification of historical change, monitoring current conditions, and helping to predict future scenarios so that the impact of such changes can be understood so that strategies for adaptation and mitigation can be developed for implementation.
Effective May 17, 2013 – Landsat Surface Reflectance Climate Data Record (CDR) products are available on-demand for many Landsat 5 and all Landsat 7 scenes through the USGS EarthExplorer. Look for the Landsat CDR Data Set.
Effective April 30, 2013 – The final fiscal year 2013 version of the Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS 1.2.1) is available for processing Landsat Surface Reflectance Climate Data Record (CDR) products on-demand. This new version will process Landsat scenes acquired over Antarctica, handling the Polar Stereographic map projection. Details are available in the new Product Guide and Release Notes.