I am trying to calculate the total monthly precipitation rate using the Rainf_f_tavg band of the GLDAS-2.1 image collection on Google Earth Engine (https://developers.google.com/earth-engine/datasets/catalog/NASA_GLDAS_V021_NOAH_G025_T3H#bands). This is the code I have so far. However I keep getting the error user memory limit exceeded. I assume this happens because I am trying to analyse images over such a long timeframe (2001-2020), but I still get the error even when I am analysing a much shorter time frame. I can only analyse 1 single year without getting an error. I used the code in the answer to this question to try and reduce the images that need to be analysed by first computing the daily means Download GLDAS precipitation monthly 1 km resolution data by Earth-engine but it still seems to be too much. Is there any way around this or a way that I can reduce the number of images that need to be analysed further? Or is there a similar dataset I could use which is less computationally intensive?

var startDate = ee.Date('2001-01-01');
var endDate = ee.Date('2020-12-31');
var startYear = startDate.get('year');
var endYear = endDate.get('year');

var years = ee.List.sequence(startYear, endYear);
var months = ee.List.sequence(1,12);

var lst = ee.ImageCollection("NASA/GLDAS/V021/NOAH/G025/T3H")
  .filterDate(startDate, endDate);


var days = endDate.difference(startDate, 'days');
var daysStep = 1;
var timeSeries = ee.ImageCollection(
  ee.List.sequence(0, days.subtract(1), daysStep)
    .map(function (offsetDays) {
      var start = startDate.advance(offsetDays, 'days');
      var end = start.advance(daysStep, 'days');
      var composite = lst
        .filterDate(start, end)
        .mean(); // You need to decide how to combine the images
      return composite
        .set('system:time_start', start.millis())
        .set('empty', composite.bandNames().size().eq(0));
  ).filterMetadata('empty', 'equals', 0);


var transformed = timeSeries.map(function (image) {
  var date = image.get('system:time_start');
  var img = image.multiply(86400).set('system:time_start', date);
  return img;


// make monthly mean mosaics
// loop over the years and months to get summed monthly images
var byMonth = ee.ImageCollection(ee.FeatureCollection(years.map(function(y){
  var yearCollection = transformed.filter(ee.Filter.calendarRange(y, y, 'year'));
  var byYear = ee.ImageCollection.fromImages(
    months.map(function(m) {
      var maxImage = yearCollection.filter(ee.Filter.calendarRange(m, m, 'month'))
      var date = ee.Date.fromYMD(y, m, 1).format("MM_dd_YYYY");
      return maxImage.set('system:time_start', ee.Date.fromYMD(y, m, 1)).rename(date);
      //.set('month', m).set('year', y); // eventually set year and month 
  return byYear;

// filter the empty one out
var outputMonthly = byMonth.filter(ee.Filter.listContains('system:band_names', 'constant').not())

var features = outputMonthly.reduceRegions(donetsk, ee.Reducer.first(), 30);

  • I solved your issue with another approach in GEE (by using ee.List objects) with one script which spent 3 minutes for exporting aggregate values (monthly, yearly) in range '2001-01-01', '2020-12-31'. If you are still interested in your script, try out of commenting all print statements before running your script and your task.
    – xunilk
    Feb 26, 2021 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


When I have dealt with this kind of Image Collections, with 8 or 24 images per day, I found out that the processing is very demanding of time for monthly and yearly aggregation. Additionally, it produces a composition of images valid for a resolution of 1 arc degree instead of original 0.25 arc degrees.

On the other hand, your range of dates ('2001-01-01', '2020-12-31') includes 58,413 images from the GLDAS Image Collection and you need an efficient script for this task because it is a very big number for Google Server. So, in this case, it is preferable to extract the 58,413 values at once, mapping over them for slicing in groups of 8 elements for determining its mean (reducing them to only 7302 daily values) and, finally, pairing them with dates values before exporting to Google Drive. I have a poor Internet Service and, in my case, I spent only 9 minutes for exporting daily values to my Google Drive for your range of dates for an arbitrary point in USA. Afterward, this CSV file can be processed in a spreadsheet for monthly or yearly aggregation (or it can be used a Python Script for speeding up this process).

Complete script looks as follows:

var startDate = ee.Date('2001-01-01');
var endDate = ee.Date('2020-12-31');

var pt = ee.Geometry.Point([-101.1765625, 37.81067892891743]);

var lst = ee.ImageCollection("NASA/GLDAS/V021/NOAH/G025/T3H")
  .filterDate(startDate, endDate);

var getPrecipit = function(image) {

  // Reducing region and getting value
  var value_precipit = ee.Image(image)
    .reduceRegion(ee.Reducer.first(), pt)

  return value_precipit;

var count = lst.size();

print("count:", count);

var precipit_list = lst.toList(count).map(getPrecipit);

//print("precipit list", precipit_list);

var len = precipit_list.size();

var list = ee.List.sequence(0, len.subtract(1), 8);

var mean_precipit_list = list.map(function(ele){

  var start = ee.Number(ele).int(); 
  var end = ee.Number(ele).add(8).int(); 

  var new_list = ee.List([]);
  var element = ee.List(precipit_list.slice(start, end)).reduce(ee.Reducer.mean());

  new_list = new_list.add(element);

  return new_list;


var allDates = ee.List(lst.aggregate_array('system:time_start'));

var allDatesSimple = allDates.map(function(date){
  return ee.Date(date).format().slice(0,10);

var paired = allDatesSimple.zip(mean_precipit_list);

//print (paired);

var myFeatures = ee.FeatureCollection(paired.map(function(el){
  el = ee.List(el); // cast every element of the list
  var geom = pt;
  return ee.Feature(geom, {
    'date': ee.String(el.get(0)),


// Export features, specifying corresponding names.
"precipitation", //my task
"GEE_Folder", //my export folder
"dayly_precipit",  //file name

Obtained CSV file can be downloaded from here.

  • Hey @xunilk, i tried to use use your script where I changed the geometry with feature collections with multiple polygons, but I got this error. ==> Error: Unable to use a collection in an algorithm that requires a feature or image. This may happen when trying to use a collection of collections where a collection of features is expected; use flatten, or map a function to convert inner collections to features. Use clipToCollection (instead of clip) to clip an image to a collection. Jun 11, 2021 at 19:18
  • Is there any way possible to download the long term data with multiple polygon/assets of shapefile. The source script is at code.earthengine.google.co.in/… and the shapefile is code.earthengine.google.co.in/?asset=users/abhilashaanu92/… Jun 11, 2021 at 19:20

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