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Exploring climate model data

Initial assessment of climate change impacts on the forestry sector in Sweden


Provide the Agricultural and Forestry Expert Panel within the Swedish Commission on Climate and Vulnerability (2005-2007) with initial ideas of climatic factors relevant for impacts and not covered by more comprehensive impact modelling efforts.
This Use Case is not functionally implemented in this portal.


The Swedish Commission on Climate and Vulnerability was instigated by the Swedish Government to carry out a comprehensive cross-sectorial assessment of climate and vulnerability in the Swedish society (SOU, 2007:60). Some forestry impacts of climate changes were already well covered by impact modelling or otherwise research findings. Other possible climate change impacts were identified during the course of the Panel discussions. Such identified impacts spawned a more technical/scientific discussion regarding possible ways to capture the essential elements of the climate change that directly relate to the identified impact. In this way a number of “impact relevant climate indices” were suggested. The overarching aim was to provide the Panel with a rough initial of possible future impacts where more sophisticated impact models were not available or could be developed within the time frame of the Commission.


Lars Bärring, SMHI Rossby Centre, Sweden.


Climate scientists (SMHI Rossby Centre), members of the Agricultural and Forestry Expert Panel of the Commission (representatives from relevant businesses and professional organisations, NGOs, and scientists from academic disciplines related to forestry and ecology), members of the Commission secretariat.

Data needs

Available regional climate model data for Sweden (and Europe) at daily time resolution. Regional climate change scenarios simulations and ERA-40 driven simulations.

Typical course of events

  • Climate scientists attended a Panel meeting at an early stage. The focus of the meeting was climate models, climate scenarios, scenario uncertainty, necessity to use more than one scenario, as well as possibilities to use the model output for tailoring climate indices.
  • The Expert Panels held one or two internal meetings.
  • Climate scientists participated in a further Panel meeting focussing on brainstorming and discussions of possible ways to capture possible forestry impacts in terms of climate indices derived from the available regional climate model dataset. Suggested indices were submitted to the Commission secretariat.
  • The Commission secretariat compiled requested indices form the different expert panels and discussed these with the climate scientists. The feasibility and relevance of the different indices were discussed and the possibility to combine similar indices was explored. This resulted in that some indices were excluded for scientific or technical reasons, and some other similar indices were merged. The reduced and updated list of climate indices were presented to the expert panels and discussed with the climate scientists, This process were iterated until agreement were reached.
  • In parallel with the preceding steps the climate scientists developed the software to carry out calculation of the tailored indices. Selected preliminary results were presented to the expert panel and feedback was used to adjust the system and sometimes the indices as such.
  • Climate scientists participated in expert panel meetings, as well as supporting the Commission secretariat, to explain the results and assist in climatic science aspects of the interpretation of the results.
  • Report writing and presentation of the results at a series of outreach events and public meeting.

Support to users

As described above much of the support was in the form of an active dialogue with the panel.

Requested flexibility

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

Alternative course of events

The Commission (Expert panel) commissioned several special reports on possible climate impacts from external experts. They in turn requested climate scenario data, which were handled separately.

References for the Use Case

  • Persson, G., Bärring, L., Kjellström, E., Strandberg, G. & Rummukainen, M., 2007: Climate indices for vulnerability assessments. SMHI Reports Meteorology and Climatology No. 111, SMHI, SE-60176 Norrköping, Sweden, 64 pp + DVD
  • SOU, 2007:60: Sweden facing climate change – threats and opportunities. Final report from the Commission on Climate and Vulnerability. Swedish Government Official Reports 2007:60. 679 pp.

Software used

  • RCA3: SMHI Rossby Centre regional atmosphere climate model
  • RCAO: SMHI Rossby Centre regional atmosphere-ocean climate model
  • CDO and NCO for data manipulation
  • Fortran for special analyses
  • Matlab for data analyses and graphics

File format(s)

Input: NetCDF, GRIB1. Output: image formats (png, eps), html, pdf.



Sources and cascade of Uncertainty

Several sources of uncertainties are considered:

  • Uncertainties on emission scenarios are to some extent dealt with by using two emission scenarios
  • Uncertainties related to choice of GCM and initial condition is dealt with by using two GCMs
  • Uncertainties related to the RCM formulation is dealt with by including two significantly different versions of the RCM
  • The resulting maps were produced after being spatially smoothed and using a deliberately coarse colour scale to help the users to focus on large-scale and robust features and changes rather than local peculiarities that could be more prone to influence form noise and random variations

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.