Project

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Extension, Validation and Analysis of Historical Upper-Air Data Sets (EVALUATE)

Applicant Brönnimann Stefan
Number 130407
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Geographisches Institut Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Start/End 01.10.2010 - 30.09.2013
Approved amount 177'737.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Meteorology

Keywords (6)

Data validation; historical climate data; climate; meteorology; reanalyses; drought

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Progress in understanding and predicting weather and climate as well as their environmental effects requires information on the three-dimensional state of the atmosphere at any given time. This information is not always available in sufficient accuracy, sufficient resolution and over a sufficiently long time period. With models becoming more and more accurate and with changing of research foci towards extremes and the hydrological cycle, further efforts are again needed from the data side. One such aspect is the backward extension of upper-air data sets. This would be beneficial in the context of extremes (a longer record features more extremes), predictability and hindcast experiments (a longer record better samples variability) and climate analysis. However, extending upper-air data sets back in time poses new challenges to the data community, some of which are addressed in this project. Several efforts are underway to provide new data sets, but the subsequent effort of stringently comparing and validating these data is lagging behind. Also, case studies are needed that demonstrate the power and - even more important - the limitations of these new data sets. The importance of thorough data validation cannot be emphasised enough in our present world where any data set is just a mouse click away. The goal of this project is to (1) extend current data sets backwards by contributing to a data assi-milation project, (2) validate historical upper-level data products, and (3) analyse the data with a focus on the 1940s and 1950s. In particular, we intend to analyse the European droughts 1945-1952, the 1950s Sahel pluvial, and the snow-rich Eurasian winters in the 1950s. Results will provide (a) an assessment of the quality of different data sets and their suitability for different purposes and (b) new insights into the mechanisms governing large-scale climate variability. Most importantly, the project will provide information on the quality of essential climate variables (ECV) in standard data sets in simple form.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Climatic changes since 1700
Brönnimann Stefan (2015), Climatic changes since 1700, Springer, Cham.
Pacemakers of warming
Brönnimann Stefan (2015), Pacemakers of warming, in Nature Geoscience, 8, 87-89.
Southward shift of the Northern tropical belt from 1945 to 1980
Brönnimann Stefan, Fischer Andreas M., Rozanov Eugene, Poli Paul, Compo Gilbert P., Sardeshmukh Prashant D. (2015), Southward shift of the Northern tropical belt from 1945 to 1980, in Nature Geoscience, 8, 969-974.
Upper‐air observations from the German Atlantic Expedition (1925-27) and comparison with the Twentieth Century and ERA‐20C reanalyses.
Stickler Alexander, Storz Samuel, Jörg Christoph, Wartenburger Richard, Hersbach Hans, Compo Gilbert P., Poli Paul, Dee Dick, Brönnimann Stefan (2015), Upper‐air observations from the German Atlantic Expedition (1925-27) and comparison with the Twentieth Century and ERA‐20C reanalyses., in Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 24, 525-544.
Volcanic influence on European summer precipitation through monsoons: Possible cause for "Years Without a Summer"
Wegmann Martin, Brönnimann Stefan, Bhend Jonas, Franke Jörg, Folini Doris, Wild Martin, Luterbacher Jürg (2014), Volcanic influence on European summer precipitation through monsoons: Possible cause for "Years Without a Summer", in Journal of Climate, 27, 3683-3691.
A global historical ozone data set and prominent features of stratospheric variability prior to 1979
Brönnimann, Bhend Jonas, Franke Jörg, Flückiger S., Fischer Andreas Marc, Bleisch René, Bodeker Greg E., Haßler Birgit, Rozanov Eugene V., Schraner Martin (2013), A global historical ozone data set and prominent features of stratospheric variability prior to 1979, in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13(18), 9623-9639.
Aerological observations in the Tropics in the Early Twentieth Century
Brönnimann S., Stickler A. (2013), Aerological observations in the Tropics in the Early Twentieth Century, in Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 22(3), 349-358.
Observation errors in early historical upper-air observations
Wartenburger Richard, Brönnimann S. (2013), Observation errors in early historical upper-air observations, in Stickler, A., JGRD50914.
Weather extremes during the past 140 years
Brönnimann S., Martius O. (2013), Weather extremes during the past 140 years, Geographica Bernensia, Bern.
A multi-data set comparison of the vertical structure of temperature variability and change over the Arctic during the past 100 years
Brönnimann Stefan, Grant Andrea N. (2012), A multi-data set comparison of the vertical structure of temperature variability and change over the Arctic during the past 100 years, in Climate Dynamics, 39, 1577-1598.
Extreme winds at northern mid-latitudes since 1871
Brönnimann Stefan (2012), Extreme winds at northern mid-latitudes since 1871, in Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 21, 13-27.
Ozone highs and associated flow features in the first half of the twentieth century in different data sets
Bronnimann S, Compo GP (2012), Ozone highs and associated flow features in the first half of the twentieth century in different data sets, in METEOROLOGISCHE ZEITSCHRIFT, 21(1), 49-59.
Significant bias of the NCEP/NCAR and twentieth-century reanalyses relative to pilot balloon observations over the West African Monsoon region (1940-1957)
Stickler A, Bronnimann S (2011), Significant bias of the NCEP/NCAR and twentieth-century reanalyses relative to pilot balloon observations over the West African Monsoon region (1940-1957), in QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, 137(659), 1400-1416.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth Initiative Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Russian Hydrometeorological Institute Russia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Institut für Meteorologie und Geophysik, Universität Wien Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Arbeitsbesprechung Physische Geographie Talk given at a conference Analysis of Errors in Upper-Air Observations 23.10.2013 Schwarzenburg, Switzerland Wartenburger Richard;
EGU General Assembly 2013 Poster Observation and Representativity Errors in historical Upper-Air Observations 07.04.2013 Wien, Austria Wartenburger Richard;
NCCR Summer School 2012 Poster Observation and Representativity Errors in Global Historical Upper-Air Observations 09.09.2012 Locarno, Switzerland Wartenburger Richard;
EGU General Assembly 2012 Poster Estimation, Classification and Analysis of Errors in Historical Upper-Air Observations for Use as a Data Validation Tool: A Concept 22.04.2012 Wien, Austria Wartenburger Richard;
ERA-CLIM work package 4 Workshop on observation errors Talk given at a conference Estimation of Observation and Representivity Errors in Historical Upper- Air Observation Datasets 19.04.2012 Wien, Austria Wartenburger Richard;
Arbeitsbesprechung Physische Geographie Talk given at a conference Validation of Atmospheric Reanalysis Products by Estimating Uncertainty in Historical Upper-Air Observations 28.09.2011 Schwarzenburg, Switzerland Wartenburger Richard;
NCCR Summer School 2011 Poster Quality Control of Selected Historical Radiosonde Temperature Observations from 1948 - 1966 04.09.2011 Grindelwald, Switzerland Wartenburger Richard;
EGU General Assembly 2011 Poster Quality Control of Selected Historical Radiosonde Observations from 1948-1966 03.04.2011 Wien, Austria Wartenburger Richard;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Dürre durch Verschiebung der Tropen Univ. Bern Press release International 2015
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Working in tandem OCCR Website International 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
143219 Long-term changes of weather extremes in a large ensmble of climate model simulations (EXTRA-LARGE) 01.09.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
120871 Past climate variability from an upper level perspective - Extension period 01.08.2008 SNSF Professorships

Abstract

Further progress in understanding and predicting weather and climate and their environmental effects relies on information on the 3-D state of the atmosphere at any given time. While models readily provide this sort of information, it is more difficult to obtain sufficient data for the real atmosphere with a sufficient accuracy, sufficient resolution and over a sufficiently long time period. With models becoming more and more accurate and with changing foci of the community (e.g., towards extremes and the hydrological cycle), the meaning of “sufficient” also changes. One such aspect is the backward extension of upper-air data sets. This would be beneficial in the context of extremes (a longer record features more extremes), predictability and hindcast experiments (a longer record better samples variability) and climate analysis. However, extending upper-air data sets back in time poses new challenges to the data community, some of which are addressed in this proposal. While several efforts are underway to provide new data sets, the subsequent effort of stringently comparing and validating these data is lagging behind. Also, case studies are needed that demonstrate the power and - even more important - the limitations of these new data sets. The importance of thorough data validation cannot be emphasised enough in a world where any data set is just a mouse click away.The goal of this project is to (1) extend current data sets backwards by contributing to a data assi-milation project, (2) validate historical upper-level data products, and (3) analyse the data with a focus on the 1940s and 1950s. In particular, we intend to analyse the European droughts 1945-1952, the 1950s Sahel pluvial, and the snow-rich Eurasian winters in the 1950s. Results will provide (a) an assessment of the quality of different data sets and their suitability for different purposes and (b) new insights into the mechanisms governing large-scale climate variability. Most importantly, the project will provide information on the quality of essential climate variables (ECV) in standard data sets in simple form.
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