One of the main challenges when working with modern climate model ensembles is the increasingly larger size of the data produced, and the consequent difficulty in storing large amounts of spatio-temporally resolved information. Many compression algorithms can be used to mitigate this problem, but since they are designed to compress generic scientific datasets, they do not account for the nature of climate model output and they compress only individual simulations. In this work, we propose a different, statistics-based approach that explicitly accounts for the space-time dependence of the data for annual global three-dimensional temperature fields in an initial condition ensemble. The set of estimated parameters is small (compared to the data size) and can be regarded as a summary of the essential structure of the ensemble output; therefore, it can be used to instantaneously reproduce the temperature fields in an ensemble with a substantial saving in storage and time. The statistical model exploits the gridded geometry of the data and parallelization across processors. It is therefore computationally convenient and allows to fit a nontrivial model to a dataset of 1 billion data points with a covariance matrix comprising of 1018 entries. Supplementary materials for this article are available online.