CORDEX-CMIP5 Simulations

 The vision of the COordinated Regional climate Downscaling EXperiment (CORDEX) is to advance and coordinate the science and application of regional climate downscaling through global partnerships. There are a total of fourteen official CORDEX domains (see figure below) with a federated organization building on a common experimental framework[1] (check details and Points of Contact, PoC, at

Click here for the simulations overview excel

Figure 1. Boundaries (and topography) of the fourteen official CORDEX domains.

The simulations produced in CORDEX are stored in a distributed archive (the Earth System Grid Federation, ESGF) after standardization and curation. However, standardization and archiving are time-consuming processes, and some simulations are only available from the local providers (modeling centers). To inform users about the existing simulations, the CORDEX SAT periodically gathers inventories from both sources (ESGF and local providers) domain by domain and make them available in the CORDEX web page.

As of November 2020, there are a total of 665 simulations (including evaluation, historical and scenario runs) in the 14 domains. A total of 22 GCMs have been used to provide driving conditions for over 35 RCMs (including coupled atmosphere-ocean RCMs in the Mediterranean). The table below summarizes the information domain by domain for the different resolutions (0.44º, 0.22º, 0.11º, in rows) and the different scenarios (‘h’: historical, ‘26’: RCP2.6, ‘45’: RCP4.5, and ‘85’: RCP8.5, in columns); note that evaluation runs –driven by the ERA-Interim reanalysis– are not included in the summary but are listed in the detailed tables. ‘R|G’ indicates the number of RCMs|GCMs used in each domain; in the case of the RCMs, different configurations of the same model, e.g. REMO2015 and REMO2009 are counted as different models (details in the full lists). The row ‘total’ indicates the number of simulations available pooling all resolutions (note that the numbers for R|G are not necessarily the sum of the different rows/resolutions, since models can be repeated). Results are shown in two blocks corresponding to the data available at ESGF (left) and the data available directly from modeling centers (right).

The full inventory of simulations is provided in a companion document (a spreadsheet with different tabs per domain)[2] including the available GCM-RCM simulations as well as relevant metadata information. Each GCM-RCM combination is included in a row which shows in columns the availability for different experiments (evaluation, historical, RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5) indicating the period covered by the simulation.

Note that the version labels attached to the RCM names (e.g. “_v1”) are free text and are typically used to denote new versions of the RCMs (for example, CNRM used v2 for indicating "same run as v1 but with spectral nudging" in Med-CORDEX). However, in other cases they are used to denote a new run of the same model (debug). Note that there is no proper documentation for models and versions implemented yet, and details should be obtained from the modeling centers.


Figure 2. Screenshot of the inventory document with simulations (GCM-RCM combinations) in rows (domains in different tabs). Information available at ESGF is shaded in green and information accessible from the modeling centers is shaded in salmon.

The Terms of Use document ( of the CORDEX data informs about the conditions for the unrestricted or non-commercial use of the datasets. The simulations officially registered at CORDEX[3] (typically those available at ESGF) provide details about the particular terms of use (unrestricted or non-commercial), which are copied in the tables of the inventory (column not shown in Figure 2); ‘TBC’ indicates simulations providing no information. The terms of use for simulations available from local providers should be checked directly with the provider (the license indicated in the tables in those cases is only informative; provided as personal communication).

Acknowledgements. This work has been partially supported by COPERNICUS C3S (contract C3S_34d - CORDEX4USERS), in particular the communication with data providers and helping with the ESGF archiving of simulations in some cases.


[2] “CORDEX_simulations_Nov_2020.xlsx”, available at

[3] (10/11/2020)


CORDEX-SAT, 26 November 2020