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Compilation, assessment, analysis of existing data



Scientific coordinator

Elena Roget correu

Web contents manager

Anna Drou correu

Compilation, assessment and analysis of existing data


Work package number


Compilation, assessment and analysis of meteorological data



1) Create a family of data sets of different types of meteorological data which include: long-term observational time series over the European continent with a special focus on the regions targeted within the exchange programme, gridded reanalysis data from the leading numerical weather prediction centres, outputs from numerical experiments for present and future climate conditions performed under the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ) and assimilated by CMIP-3 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project).

2) Compile historical data for the selected inland seas, derived from miscellaneous historical observational data, including in-situ and satellite records. The principal parameters to be included are temperature and salinity (the surface values and the vertical profiles), density and (where available) turbidity, dissolved oxygen concentration, and velocity fields. Also of primary interest are the ice extent and thickness (where available).

3) Create a database for the vegetation cover in the regions around the Caspian and Aral seas where there is a clear lack of detailed studies (less for the Black Sea) due to a scarcity of environments suitable for a proper preservation of organic matter but also because of difficult access. We will also focus on a social resolution.

4) Compile the data through a common strategy in terms of formats, spatial and temporal resolutions, and quality control procedures to be oriented towards climate change studies.

5) Comprise data as model input either for verification or validation of the models in WP4, WP5 and WP6 of the project.


Description of work

Task 3.1 : Assemble a multi-variable set of meteorological data

3.1.1) The observational time series will include 100-year-old and older observational records of precipitation and air temperature over the European continent with daily resolution assembled from the European Climate Assessment (ECA) collection and national collections (such as DWD). Data for the IPCC model experiments will include time series of basic meteorological variables (precipitation, temperature, SLP, winds) with monthly resolution in time and variable resolution in space (1 degree to 3 degrees). These time series will cover simulations of pre-industrial climate (1960), 20th century climate variability (1900-2000), present (reference) climate simulations (1979-2000) and the climate of the 21st century under different SRES scenarios (B1, A1B and A2) used in IPCC AR4. We’ll perform a careful review and evaluation of the quality and representativeness of the data from surface stations. Furthermore, the assembled data sets will include five daily and monthly grids of European temperature and precipitation at 0.5 to 1 degree spatial resolution.

3.1.2) Metadata analysis. Critical analysis and homogenisation of these time series will be performed.

3.1.3) Reanalyses of data: Reanalysis will include the three major NWP products, namely NCEP-NCAR covering the period from 1948 onwards, ERA-40 reanalysis for the period 1958-2002 and JRA reanalysis for the period 1970-onwards. We will also consider the possibility of incorporating the 20th century NOAA/NASA reanalysis for the period 1908-1958 into the project.


Task 3.2: Assemble a multi-variable set of hydrophysical data

3.2.1) Water bodies studied within this project are covered by historical data quite well. For the Black Sea, roughly 120,000 profiles of temperature and salinity have been taken since 1920, and for the Caspian Sea about 60,000. According to Tuzhilkin (2008), for most years and parts of the seas, the available raw data are sufficient to produce gridded monthly anomalies at a horizontal resolution of about 12 degrees. Until the late 1980s, there had been seasonal research cruises on the Aral Sea and eleven hydrographic stations on the shore and the islands carrying out continuous measurements. However, most of these data are scattered in numerous national archives and data sources, although a part is still unprocessed and hardly suitable for investigating the climate change signal. Within this task we plan to undertaken the work of processing these data. Principal parameters to be included are temperature and salinity (the surface values and the vertical profiles), density and (where available) turbidity, dissolved oxygen concentration, and velocity fields. Also of primary interest are the ice extent and thickness (where available). 

3.2.2) Assessment and updating of the sea level records. The general pattern of relative sea level change is known in all the seas that are included in this proposal, having been presented in many publications, though different authors provide different levels of details (see for example the various relative sea level reconstructions presented in Pirazolli¹s classic overview in 1991). These publications will be assessed, going back to original data sources where necessary. As one of the key themes of this proposal is recent change, these historical sources will be augmented by more up-to-date information, such as tide gauge records, littoral zone well data, maps and satellite imagery.


Task 3.3: Create a data set of different types of changes in vegetation cover and of biota in the seas over the last 150 years

3.3.1) Historical/documentary data: Compile vegetation surveys and biota monitoring data from literature, focusing on changes (natural and anthropogenic) of vegetation over the last 150 years for the areas around the three seas and in their watersheds.

3.3.2) Proxy data of vegetation: Complement the surveys by recent archives, if they exist, of past vegetation, such as charcoal, phytoliths, dendroclimatology, short sediment cores, etc.

3.3.3) Proxy data of water parameters: Microbiota and macrobiota in the seas from short sediment cores – foraminifera, ostracoda, molluscs, dinoflagellate cysts and other algae (eg diatoms). Compilation of the distribution of recent assemblages of planktonic and benthic microorganisms from the Black Sea will help to assess past hydrological changes (river input, salinity) as it has been investigated in the Caspian Sea (Marret et al., 2004, Leroy et al., 2007).

These micro- and macrofossils are often key indicators for palaeosalinities and palaeotemperatures.


Task 3.4: Compile global environmental data from satellites

3.4.1) Gridded Global Topography - The Global Land One-kilometre Base Elevation (GLOBE) Project which is a 30-arc-second (1-km) gridded, quality-controlled global digital elevation model (DEM).

3.4.2) Combined Topography & Bathymetry - Global Relief. NGDC's ETOPO1 supersedes the ETOPO2 2-minute gridded relief data set and TerrainBase and ETOPO5, which were produced on an 8-kilometre nominal grid (roughly five-minute resolution).

3.4.3) Weekly Snow Cover and Sea Ice Extent based on the digital NOAA-NESDIS Weekly Northern Hemisphere Snow Charts.

3.4.4) Global Monthly EASE-Grid Snow Water Equivalent Climatology derived from Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) and selected Special Sensor Microwave/Imagers (SSM/I).

3.4.5) Sea surface temperature maps based on observations by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

3.4.6) Satellites observe global-scale patterns of the vegetation index based on measurements taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.

3.4.7) Assemble AVHHR SST grids currently covering the period from 1987 onwards and allowing formally for 0.25 degree resolution in space and 5-day temporal resolution. We realize that in the enclosed sea domains there might be a drop in accuracy in the near-shore regions and for these areas reasonable alternatives from different envelopes will be used for validation and intercomparison.



D3.1 A family of newly assembled sets of hydrographic and sea level historical data from the Black, Caspian, and Aral seas.

D3.2 Description of the availability and the quality of meteorological data sets which are to be used in other WPs.

D3.2 Description of the availability and the quality of satellite data sets which are to be used in D3.1 and D3.2. A family of newly assembled sets of hydrographic and sea level historical data from the Black, Caspian, and Aral seas.


Researchers involved

T3.1: RHMC: V. Khan, K. Rubinstein, V. Tischenko; V.Kryjov; SIO: S. Gulev, I. Zveryaev;

UdG: J. Badosa; LIV: A. Morse

T3.2: SIO: S. Kremenetskiy, P. Zavialov, B.Chubarenko; UdG: I. Bastida; BRUN: S. Kershaw, Ph. Collins

T3.3: SIO: L. Merklin , E. Ivanova, A. Kazmin; BRUN: S. Leroy; U LIV: F. Marret

T3.4: SIO: A. Kazmin, V. Rostovtseva, I. Goncharenko; RHMC: V. Khan, T. Tischenko;

UdG: J. Badosa, I. Bastida, PhD1