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Exploring climate model data

Climate change impact on spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) in northern Europe


Analysing the climate change impact on spruce bark beetle phenology and voltinism.
This Use Case is not functionally implemented in this portal.


In forest ecosystems, insects are often the primary disturbance agents, and in coniferous forests, bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytidae) are the most destructive pests. In Europe, mass-propagation of the spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus L., following windfalls and drought is a serious threat to mature spruce forests. Newly windthrown spruce trees are suitable as brood trees for I. typographus, and could thereby cause a significant increase of the bark beetle population. In turn, the risk of lethal bark beetle attacks on living spruce trees increases with population size. This makes I. typographus rank among the major insect pests of European forests. The activity and voltinism of I. typographus depends on latitude and elevation. In the Nordic countries, one generation of I. typographus is normally produced per year with the exception of Denmark where the climate generally allows the establishment of a second generation. Two generations per year are common in Central Europe, except at higher elevations. There are thus reasons to believe that in southern Sweden the population dynamics of I. typographus will be sensitive to temperature increase, and that this is one of the regions were a change in population dynamics due to climate change will first be observed.


Lars Bärring, SMHI Rossby Centre, Sweden.


Climate scientists (SMHI Rossby Centre), ecological scientsts (Lund university, Sweden).

Data needs

  • An ensemble of RCM simulations of daily mean and maximum temperatures, both forced by ERA40 and GCM climate change simulations using different emission scenarios from the ENSEMBLES database
  • High-resolution gridded surface observations 1987-2005 (Mesan, ERA-Mesan, which both are SMHI mesoscale atmospheric gridded products)
  • E-OBS gridded observations
  • Various field data, e.g. insect abundance in pheromone traps

Typical course of events

This use case builds on a close research collaboration that spans several years. For the purpose of this Use Case the focus here is on the development of the impact model for direct use of gridded data rather than using point observations. In subsequent analyses of climate change impacts this has the distinct advantage that statistical calibration/downscaling from the RCM grid-scale (50/25 km) is not needed.

Support to users

As a research collaboration user support is an integral part of the collaboration.

Requested flexibility

Because of the interactive nature of the whole activity substantial flexibility was built in the process.

Alternative course of events


References for the Use Case

  • Jönsson, A.-M. & Bärring, L., 2011: Future climate impact on spruce bark beetle life-cycle in relation to uncertainties in regional climate model data ensembles. Tellus A, 63, 158-173. Download PDF (1751 kB)
  • Jönsson, A.-M., Appelberg, G., Harding, S. & Bärring, L., 2009: The impact of climate change on the temperature dependent swarming and development of the spruce bark beetle, Ips typhographus, in Sweden. Glob. Change Biol., 15, 486 499
  • Jönsson, A.M., Harding, S., Bärring, L., Ravn, H.P., 2007: Impact of climate change on the population dynamics of Ips typographus in southern Sweden. Agric. For. Meteorol., 146, 70–81. Schlyter, P., Stjernquist, I., Nilsson, C., Jönsson, A.M. & Bärring, L., 2006: Assessment of the impacts of climate change and weather extremes on boreal forests in northern Europe, focusing on Norway spruce. Clim. Res., 31, 75 84

Software used

CDO, Matlab, Matlab-CDI toolbox used for data manipulation, analyses and graphical display.

File format(s)

NetCDF, ascii



Sources and cascade of uncertainty

Several sources of uncertainties are considered:

  • Uncertainties on emission scenarios are dealt with by using different emission scenarios
  • Uncertainties related to choice of GCM are dealt with by using several GCMs
  • Uncertainties related to the RCM formulation is to some extent dealt with by relating the performance of the employed RCM (RCA3) to other RCMs that were participating in the ENSEMBLES project

Read more on uncertainties



The ENES3 project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824084.