WCRP Programme/Project offices meeting on 29 June

The WCRP International Project Offices (IPOs) and Joint Planning Staff (JPS) meet online regularly and the latest meeting was held on 29 June 2020, hosted by the CORDEX office.

Key activities and status were reported from all the IPOs during the telecon and the JPS reported on plans for the coming Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) meetings.

Iréne Lake, the CORDEX IPO director, presented some of the ongoing CORDEX activities:

  • CORDEX Experiment Design for dynamical and statistical downscaling of CMIP6.
  • CORDEX White Paper on the Future Regional Scientific Challenges for CORDEX.
  • CORDEX workshops on Capacity Development, Flagship Pilot Study meetings and other regional workshops planned for 2020 will either be held online in the fall or postponed until 2021.
  • Three longer online CORDEX Science Advisory Team-meetings were held 25 June, 30 June and 2 July to outline the way ahead.
  • There will shortly be a call for Flagship Pilot Studies announced.


Messages from the telecon included:

  • IPO staffs are gradually returning back to offices depending on the local situation.
  • All WCRP projects/programmes are outlining their roles in the new structure of the WCRP.
  • An extraordinary JSC session will be organised online in Nov/Dec of 2020
  • The JSC-42 will be organised in May/June 2021. Modality and venue are yet to be decided.
  • The WCRP calendar is being finalised with input from all IPOs.
  • Many activities are being postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19 and the possibility to have joint or back-to-back events was raised.
  • The next JPS and IPOs telecon will be organised in September and be chaired by GEWEX office.

CORDEX Climate Information at EGU’s Geoscience Meeting

Modelling the future climate on a regional scale requires both cooperation and computer power. Part of the work of CORDEX is to support countries that do not have the resources to produce regional climate information and to enable them to take advantage of global cooperation. At the big EGU Geoscience meeting, EGU2020, which took place on 4-8 May 2020, information produced within the CORDEX community was presented at several of the sessions.

The CORDEX (COordinated Regional Downscaling EXperiment) project office is located at SMHI in Sweden, and coordinates global cooperation for the development of climate scenarios and models on local and regional scales. CORDEX work is very important for the IPCC reports, including the forthcoming Assessment Report 6 (AR6).

Several of the sessions at EGU2020 discussed regional climate modelling from different aspects and therefore had strong links to CORDEX work.

Prioritising particularly vulnerable areas

CORDEX is about working towards sustainable societies by helping decision-makers and others to understand the risks associated with a changing climate. Studies based on CORDEX information show the importance of working with high resolution and with well-described physical processes.

– In this way we can respond to specific regional problems, for example by predicting precipitation more accurately in regions with complex topography. At the same time we can see changes in land use and regional climate and consequently improve our knowledge about planning and risk management in areas with low capacity, says Iréne Lake, Director of the International Project Office for CORDEX at SMHI.

Many of the analyses and experiments presented at the conference were based on CORDEX CORE results which are simulations carried out under specified minimum requirements, for example for resolution (grid spacing) and the time span. Since regional climate modelling requires huge amounts of computer power, the CORDEX network has suggested a priority list, including areas which are particularly vulnerable to changes in the climate.

The climate at the poles significantly affects the rest of the world, both socio-economically and ecologically. Regional climate models also play an important role here, to increase our understanding of the mechanisms affecting life environments, both historically and in the future.

Strengthening cooperation between experts and researchers

One of the goals of EGU is to create and strengthen the cooperation between experts and researchers from various disciplines. Representatives from both CORDEX and SMHI have been important contributors to several of the sessions. For example one of the CORDEX pilot projects on convective processes over Europe and the Mediterranean was highlighted during a session on atmospheric modelling, where the resolution needs to be high enough to describe the convection correctly.

CORDEX was also included in an Open Science session with the purpose of developing innovative tools and techniques to integrate, manage, evaluate and spread information for different systems for ESSP (Earth Systems Science Prediction).

Working for a sustainable future

– The challenges that we all experience and will face due to climate change permeate all parts of research and the community. EGU is an established and important forum for sharing experience and following the latest developments. SMHI and CORDEX are bringing new insights that can help us to be even better at contributing to a sustainable future for everyone living on our planet, says Iréne Lake.

The 3rd Baltic Earth Conference was successfully held online 2-3 June

At the 3rd Baltic Earth conference online last week new results from coupled regional climate models were presented, for instance on ‘Moving climate zones and climate change impact on anomalous weather phenomena in the Euro-Cordex / Baltic Sea region’.
Click here for the link to the conference.

Want to contribute to CORDEX development as a member of the CORDEX Science Advisory Team?

Now it’s time for self-nominations for the CORDEX Science Advisory Team (SAT), deadline 20 March!
Click here for more information on the SAT.
Click here for more information on the call for self-nomination for the CORDEX SAT and other WCRP expert groups.

Two newly endorsed Flagship Pilot Studies – Africa and the TPE region!

The two latest additions for Africa and the TPE region were officially presented as endorsed at the ICRC-CORDEX 2019 in Beijing in October. With these two there are 9 endorsed CORDEX Flagship Pilot Studies.

Africa: Modelling the Southeast African regional Climate

Contact persons: Jonas Zucule jnzucule@gmail.com or Bernadino Nhantumbo b.nhantumbo@gmail.com

Southeastern Africa is a region with a population of ~270 million people who are strongly affected by the local climate. Hence, it is important to get a better understanding of the regional climate, how it has changed in the past, and how it is likely to change in the future. An important question is whether and how the rainfall over southeastern Africa responds to anthropogenic forcings as well as natural climate variability. Dominant atmospheric phenomena in this region include the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), the tropical monsoon and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Furthermore, it is important to revise and update climate knowledge based on local climate scientists. There is already scientific literature on climate change studies for southern Africa, but work remains in evaluating the model projections and calibrating their output with in-situ observations. Southeastern Africa is experiencing a climate change where trends in mean precipitation may be due to changes in the occurrence of rainy days or rain intensity. It is important to understand the causes of these trends. Likewise, it is important to understand how the local temperature responds to changing large-scale conditions. Such questions can be explored through downscaling the southeast African regional climate from global climate models (GCMs) experiments in CORDEX – Africa. The research will involve analysis of local observations, reanalysis, historical and data from regional climate models (RCMs) and empirical-statistical downscaling (ESD) to study dependencies between large-scale conditions and local variability in the rain and temperature statistics. ESD and RCM simulations will be combined to provide reliable future projections, for instance, by using RCMs as pseudo-reality and the statistical models to emulate seasonally aggregated high-resolution RCM output for a large ensemble of multi-model ensembles (CMIP). Local observations will also be used in the model evaluation to assess the added value of regional downscaling for both ESD and RCMs. The proposed Flagship Pilot Study (FPS) is tailored to investigate the connections between changes and trends, and special attention will be on the rainy season(s) and its/their duration. Identified dependencies will be utilised for making reliable future projections (ESD). The proposed study will also enable an investigation into the importance of regional scale forcings (aerosols, land-use change, vegetation etc) for the southeast African region. The results will be presented as aggregated statistics for daily temperature and precipitation together with assessments of the models.


Central Asia- East Asia: High resolution climate modelling with a focus on convection and associated precipitation
over the Third Pole region

Contact person: Deliang Chen deliang@gvc.gu.se

The Third Pole (TP) is the Tibetan Plateau and all the mountain ranges that surround it. It has the world’s largest store of ice and snow outside the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The TP plays a significant role in the global climate system and is highly sensitive to humaninduced climate change. More than 10 major rivers originate from the TP, and the dramatic changes in the cryosphere have a great impact on water cycle, ecosystem and society over the TP and the surrounding regions. Due to the complex topography and harsh environment, ground-based observations are scarce over the TP, making the study of regional climate and its impact on other systems such as water and ecosystem difficult. Horizontal resolution of prevailing global reanalysis datasets is generally coarser than 30 km, which is not sufficient to examine convection and other mesoscale systems over the TP. High-resolution regional downscaling is badly needed for understanding processes and improve projections. This project aims at enhancing our understanding of the regional characteristics of water cycle changes over the TP region with a special focus on the convection and precipitation. The spatial scale of annual precipitation is generally small. Convection system contributes significantly to the total precipitation over the TP, and is therefore a key to understand the water cycle of the region. Thus, we will investigate the impact of convection system on the water cycle, especially precipitation. The contribution of Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCSs) to the precipitation over the TP will be addressed by using the Rain Cell Tracking method. A multi-model and/or multischeme approach will be utilized to assess the ability of regional climate model (RCM) in simulating convective precipitation over the TP, with the aid of satellite observations and water isotope observations. The targeted resolution is 2-9 km with a focus on convectionpermitting simulations (2-4 km). The simulations from different models or model configurations will be intercompared. We will start with a test simulation of one year. When this is done successfully, we plan to run a subset of models/model setups for a multi-year period between 1979 and 2018. The exact number of years will depend on the evaluation of the one year test and the computing resources available. The outcomes of the project are expected to enhance our understanding of processes relevant for cloud and precipitation formation, convection, MCS, and local wind system. They should also be useful to future high resolution regional climate modeling and regional reanalysis over the TP. Other studies, such as the water cycle will also benefit from the results of this project. An international was established for this project, including experts in regional climate modeling, relevant observation, statistical analysis, water isotope modeling and observations, as well as regional cryosphere and climate studies. Most of the teams have been actively engaged in or are in leading positions for an international research program the Third Pole Environment (TPE) which calls for such an effort. This project has a great potential to be successful and useful to WCRP in general and CORDEX in particular.


See the complete list of FPSs here

New high-resolution (25km) CORDEX CORE simulations available

The regional climate simulations of the CORDEX CORE activity are now available at the ESGF, look for the XXX-22 domains.

For other RegCM simulations not available at the ESGF, please find further information on data access here

The simulations cover all major inhabited areas of the world at a resolution of 25km. Two RCMs (RegCM from ICTP and REMO from GERICS) are used to downscale three GCMs for two RCPs (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5).


For further information, please contact: