This is a joint initiative between the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) to monitor Earth and try to understand the possible changes that will occur on it
July 2th, 2021
The Instituto de Física de Cantabria (IFCA, a joint center of the Universidad de Cantabria and CSIC) has coordinated one of the COPERNICUS contracts for provision of worldwide regional climate change data for twelve continental domains (North America, Central America, South America, Africa, Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Australasia, Arctic, Antarctica, and Middle East and North Africa) with participation of IPSL (France), SMHI (Sweden), and
Predictia, a Santander-based company specialized in artificial intelligence and climate modeling. Researchers and professors from
the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Cantabria (UC) have also participated in this project.
The Coordinated Regional Climate Reduction Experiment (CORDEX) climate projections simulate future climate at the regional level
covering almost the entire
world's landmass across 14 geographic domains. Data from all these domains are available in the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S*) Climate Data Store (CDS).
Copernicus is a joint initiative between the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) to monitor the Earth and try to understand the possible changes tht will occur on it.
Javier Díez said that the main activity has been "providing climate change data to the Copernicus data service". "We have worked with different climate variables such as precipitation, temperature, wind speed or humidity, and what we have done is to pass a series of quality controls to these data trying to correct them when possible to meet minimum quality standards," he said.
For Díez, another of the main objectives of the project has been "to contact different world modeling centers to try to obtain information in those areas where information is very scarce, such as in the polar regions, or in some areas of Asia".
The importance of this project lies in the transcendence of its "numerous applications", since "for any report on impacts or adaptation to climate change it will be essential to have this information at high resolution", Javier Díez recalled.
IFCA's researcher, Javier Díez
The baseline information for climate change projections is provided by Global Climate Models, but they have a coarse resolution of hundreds of kilometers. In order to adapt to climate change at the regional and national level, climate information is needed at a much higher resolution, which is provided by Regional Climate Models that nest with global models and provide higher resolution climate projections, achieving a better representation of local events and environments.
CORDEX is helping to advance and coordinate the science and application of Regional Climate Models through federated experiments over multiple continental domains.
One of the main contributions of C3S is the improvement of climate simulations from different producers around the world that were previously not available to the public. For the European domain, C3S funded additional climate simulations, resulting in projections of the region's future climate now being based on more models and simulations than ever before.
C3S has supported the curation and quality control of some of the simulations for CORDEX's domains and has funded new simulations for the European region. According to the researcher, CORDEX's projections are informing the
IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report, which is expected to be published next August. In particular, they are being used for the Atlas chapter and specifically the new
Interactive Atlas, which will allow users to explore and visualize different global and regional climate projections. This new IPCC product is being coordinated by this same group of researchers, as already reported by UC (see link).
The Instituto de Física de Cantabria (IFCA) is a joint research institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and the Universidad de Cantabria (UC) based in Santander (Cantabria), with an equal balance of both institutions. IFCA is among the top 50 Spanish research centers (according to the National Program of Research Excellence, María de Maeztu / Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence).