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Exploring climate model data

Observed Climate Data

Observed climate data are essential for climate model development, for validation and/or calibration, or to drive impact models directly. We can distinguish in-situ weather station data (or upper air radio soundings), remotely sensed data (satellite data) and 'pseudo observations' derived from model-data fusion approaches, i.e. reanalysis. The last two categories come naturally in some gridded format and are thus relatively easy to use for comparison with climate model data. The station data need substantial processing, i.e. some form of aggregation and reformatting to make them gridded and easy to compare to model output.

Presently on this portal you find the following sets of gridded observed data: Under the project Obs4MIPS you will find a collection of mostly satellite based data sets to be used for model validation. It includes surface and upper-air, and especially also cloud observations.

Under the CLIPC project you will find the HadCRUT and Mesan datasets.

HadCRUT (and HadISD and Had ISDH) are a collection that combines near surface observations of temperature and humidity at monthly time scale from 1850 till present. HadCRUT4 combines CRUTEM4 (mostly) station based temperatures over land, and HadSST3 sea surface temperatures.

Mesan is a very high resolution (0.05 degrees or ~5km) reanalysis data set of daily surface meteorology, for Europe only. See the file at the bottom of this page. While all datasets mentioned before are mostly useful for validation GCM and RCM output, Mesan is also suitable to drive high resolution impact models.


The IS-ENES project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.