Major projects

Coordinating Earth Observation Data Validation for RE-analysis for Climate Services


Project location
Starting date 01 January 2013
Completion date 30 June 2015
Client European Union FP7 Framework
Project leader Professor Bob Su
Project officer Bert Boer
Project type Contract research
Budget 1,997,635

Climate change adaptation may determine most likely the future of the mankind. The Report of the High-Level Taskforce for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), articulated three facts for the need of climate services:

  • Everyone is affected by climate – particularly its extremes, which cause loss of lives and livelihoods all over the world, but overwhelmingly in developing countries;
  • Needs-based climate services are extremely effective in helping communities, businesses, organizations and governments to manage the risks and take advantage of the opportunities associated with the climate;
  • There is a yawning gap between the needs for climate services and their current provision.

The 2011 European Commission report on the Global Monitoring of Environment and Security (GMES) climate service articulated European ambition for the GMES Climate Service to provide information products which are of climate quality. Together, these products will meet the first three goals of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS):

  • Monitoring the climate system
  • Detecting and attributing climate change
  • Assessing impacts of, and supporting adaptation to, climate variability and change.

For climate and climate change monitoring, space-based observations provide a key source of data at global scales of the Earth’s environment, climate change, and the provision of climate services. An identification of the key observables has been undertaken by GCOS in defining Essential Climate Variables (ECV), such as air temperature, precipitation, carbon dioxide, sea level, sea surface temperature, snow cover. The GMES services in the land, marine and atmosphere domain include within their product portfolios a wide range of parameters which are related to these ECVs, and may contribute to their determination and generation. More importantly, space based observations processed by the GMES services will contribute to climate change analyses if the continuity of the underlying measured physical parameters can be reconciled with previously existing data records.

The European Unions 7th framework, COordinating Earth observation data validation for RE-analysis for CLIMAte ServiceS (CORE-CLIMAX) project aims to coordinate the identification of essential climate variables (ECVs) and the creation of long term climate data records. In particular the project will help to substantiate how GMES/COPERNICUS (Global Monitoring of Environment and Security) observations and products can contribute to climate change analyses. The project will identify the capability of on-ongoing activities and contribute to the formulation of the GMES climate service theme and lay the observational basis for service activities. The CORE-CLIMAX team consists of a large international consortium including nine institutes from seven countries.

CORE-CLIMAX will further identify the integration of ECVs into the re-analysis chain by proposing a feedback mechanism ensuring that the results of the re-analysis process get appropriately reflected into updates of the ECVs. In addition, by inter-comparing different re-analyses, CORE-CLIMAX will contribute to establish a European truly coupled gridded re-analysis which incorporates full exchanges and interactions between atmosphere, ocean, land, including the hydrological cycle.

Specific objectives of the project are:

  1. Coordinate with GMES ongoing activities and contribute to the formulation of the GMES climate service theme (GCOS, FP7 GMES and climate change projects, ESA CCI projects, EUMETSAT including its SAF network and EUMETNET as part of the European Meteorological Infrastructure);
  2. Propose a structured process for delivering ECVs through the stepped and quality controlled elaboration of Climate Data Records (CDR), the latter being derived from prioritisation of the most appropriate input data sets;
  3. Propose a validation process aiming at qualifying the accuracy of the climate variables;
  4. Propose a feedback mechanism ensuring that the results of the re-analysis process get appropriately reflected into updates of the CDR;
  5. Propose a process to compare re-analyses.

CORE-CLIMAX projectteam

On 17-18 January 2013 a kick-off meeting of the CORE-CLIMAX project was organized at ITC


  • Faculty ITC, University of Twente - The Netherlands
  • European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) - International
  • European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) - International
  • Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) - Germany
  • Flemish Institute for Technological Research NV (VITO) - Belgium
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) - Finland
  • Meteo France (MTF) - France
  • Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP) - China
  • Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAREERI, CAS) - China

For more information you can contact the project leader: Professor Bob Su, ITC

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