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The European Reanalysis and Observations for Monitoring project is a EU funded project that provides timely and reliable information about the state and evolution of the European climate. It combines observations from satellites, ground-based stations and results from comprehensive model-based regional reanalyses. By closely monitoring European climate, climate variability and change can be better understood and predicted.

This January 2014 newsletter highlights some of the achievements of the project at less than four months before the project ends on 1 April 2014. More information on the EURO4M project can be found on the project website.

The last General Assembly meeting of the EURO4M project will be a joint meeting with the follow-up project UERRA. The meeting shall take place in Exeter, UK from March 25-27 2014 and will be hosted by the MetOffice. More information about the meeting you can find here.

The EURO4M website has undergone some significant changes. Now that we are near the end of the project the main results that are directly relevant for the user community are highlighted. Specially the page datasets was adapted. This way we expect the datasets to be more easily accessible. A total of 13 datasets have been developed (or have been extended and published) as part of EURO4M, and 10 of these are now available for download.

Climate Indicator Bulletin

In the summer of 2013 a second CIB was published about the Central European Flooding in 2013. This bulletin describes the significant precipitation event in Central Europe of May/June 2013. Precipitation observations are placed in a historical context and special attention is given to long-term trends in precipitation and record high values averaged over the Elbe and Danube catchments.

Total precipitation amount observed between 30 May and 2 June 2013. The black lines indicate the drainage basins of the rivers Elbe (top) and Danube (bottom). The white dots indicate the cities of Dresden (top), Passau (middle), and Budapest (bottom) (source: E-OBS).

The full CIB on European Flooding can be found here.

A Climate Indicator Bulletin (CIB) is a user-driven climate information product which provides a simple, effective and timely knowledge abstraction from the large amount of raw observation and reanalyses data available in EURO4M. The bulletins focus on user groups in sectors such as disaster prevention, health, energy, water resources, ecosystems, forestry, agriculture, transport, tourism and biodiversity at European, national and local levels.
The first bulletin, which was published in the spring of 2013 gives an overview of European temperature based on a large number of measurements.

UERRA – Uncertainties in Ensembles of Regional Re-Analyses

by Per Undén, SMHI, Coordinator UERRA

UERRA is a new FP7 4 year Collaborative Project in the 2013 SPACE call. It follows on and builds on EURO4M (and other EU projects) but extends the scope in several ways. This SPACE call is intended to develop and support the COPERNICUS Climate Change Services (formerly GMES). There are five projects in the call and they are closely related. Number one is the Global 20th Century re-analysis (ERA-CLIM2) which (together with the current ERA-CLIM) feeds the regional re-analyses (number two (UERRA).

The other ones are dealing with Traceable Quality assurance of ECVs (Essential Climate Variables) (QA4ECV), Provision of access and tools for climate data sets and indicators (CLIPC) and Attribution products (EUCLEIA). These five projects will have an Overarching Coordination led by Dr Albert Klein Tank. It pertains in particular to communication with other bodies and the data portal in CLIPC will have a central role linking the five projects.

Scope of UERRA and products.
The data rescue (DARE) and Data development (quality control and homogenisation) activities will continue in UERRA but also putting emphasis on sub-daily time scales (for the NWP (Numerical Weather Prediction) based re-analyses). New observations will be put into ECMWF MARS and will benefit planned and future re-analyses. The uncertainties of gridding techniques using observed data will be dwelt on in the Project adding one component to techniques of estimating uncertainties. Climate indicators and bulletins will continue from EURO4M. Communication to the outside world, both policy makers and society in general will be important parts of UERRA. Policy makers in Brussels will receive special briefs.
The dominating effort will be directed towards the development and execution of the ensembles of NWP based reanalyses. There will both be deterministic (single or a couple) of high resolution reanalyses, but the most demanding tasks are within the ensemble data assimilation where the Met Office and University of Bonn will develop their systems. All reanalyses are for the whole European area (Fig. 1) and at high resolution, 11-12 km. The ensemble members are at lower resolution (a factor of 3 or so) since as many members as possible are needed to sample the spread in the analyses (Table 1).

Model MO control MO Ensemble HARMONIE 2 versions (SMHI) COSMO Ensemble (Univ Bonn)
Resolution 12 km ~ 70 levels about 36 km ~ 70 levels 11 km ~ 65 levels 6 km (or 12 km) ~ 40 levels
Ensemble Control only 20 members 2 members for part of the period otherwise only one 10-20 members
Period 1978 - 2013 1978 - 2013 1961 - 2013 5 years test period
Observations Conventional and satellites Conventional and satellites Conventional plus large scale forcing from ERA Conventional plus satellites

Table 1. Overview of the 3D RA models used

The time period will be covering the last 50 years for the deterministic runs (SMHI and MF) or the satellite era (from 1978) in the Met Office ensemble variational data assimilation. MF will carry out a high resolution 5 km downscaling reanalysis for 50 years. Other efforts are cloud cover reanalysis and hydrological modelling over Europe based on the reanalyses. They will serve as powerful tools for evalutation the quality in terms of accumulated precipitation (Table 2).

Type of model 2D sophisticated statistical interpolation analysis 2D sophtisticated statistical interpolation analysis Hydrological physical model Surface flux model / hydrological physical model
Observations Surface and climate networks, cloud or radar precipitation Surface and climate network Discharge for validation no
Resolution 5 km 5 km Catchment areas median 215 km2 25 km > river discharge
Time period 1982 - 2011 for clouds 1961 - 2013 30 years ~30 years

Table 2. Overview of the 2D near surface/soil and hydrological models used.

Evaluation of uncertainties.
Probably the most challenging part of the project is how to estimate uncertainties in a realistic way. There are many ways of calculating perceived uncertainties of the various products from UERRA. Differences between different reanalyses, differences to some reference data set using independent observations such as from space or precipitation data and gridded analyses thereof. The spread within an ensemble system will also give an estimate of uncertainty, due the dynamics of the atmosphere and the NWP model and paucity of observations in some areas. There is a Work package dedicated to this and a consistent methodology will be developed and employed throughout, for all products. It involves also statistical modelling and separating different scales. An important part of this effort is to try to make the estimates usable by the community for policies and adaptation. Two User workshops will be arranged to get user requirements and the feedback for the research.

Data dissemination and outreach.
There will be large data sets produced and of higher resolution over Europe and longer periods than anything available hitherto. The reanalyses are made with state of the art systems from the main NWP groups in Europe and the outputs need to be easily accessible by scientists and policy makers in Europe. Data services will be provided in two different ways, through the MARS system and services built on that in other projects and the Earth System Federation Grid as developed for mainly climate modeling data in some other projects. Web Map Services will be employed and other web based tools to access, interpolate, overlay and other processing of the different data sets. The availability and usability of the data will be promoted in the user community and the European society and web portals of the CLIPC Project, ECMWF and KNMI, inter alias, will direct users to the data which are all openly available.

Figure 1. The European area used for the downscaling (MESCAN) 5 km reanalysis.

In addition to the partners of EURO4M, ECMWF, the University of Bonn and the Meteorological Institute in Norway will take part in UERRA.

The EURO4M project is funded under the EU 7th framework programme, theme 9 "Space" as a collaborative effort of 9 European partners:
  • Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)    
  • Met Office, United Kingdom    
  • University Rovira i Virgili, Spain    
  • National Meteorological Administration, Romania    
  • Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Switzerland    
  • Deutscher Wetterdienst, Germany    
  • Swedish Meteological and Hydrological Institute, Sweden    
  • Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom    
  • Météo France, France