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Baltic Earth

7th Study Conference
Öland, Sweden
10 - 14 June 2013

Conference on Climate Change in the Southern Baltic region
Szczecin, 12-15 May 2014

21st Century Challenges in Regional Climate Modelling
Lund, 16-19 June 2014


BALTEX Working Group on the Utility of Regional Climate Models

Background and objective

During the BALTEX workshop on “added values of regional climate models and detection and attribution studies in the Baltic Basin”, held on 24 and 25 May 2007 at Göteborg University (organized by Anders Omstedt and Hans von Storch), the utility of Regional Climate Models (RCMs) was discussed. It was concluded that RCMs could be used for

  • dynamical downscaling of Global Climate Models (GCMs)
  • regional reanalyses utilizing data assimilation schemes
  • sampling network design
  • supplying hypotheses, among others guiding detection and attribution studies
  • testing dynamical hypotheses

The main question was how to infer the added value by studying these topics with RCMs instead of using a global model framework or statistical analysis of observational evidence derived from a network. The working group will continue the discussions started during the workshop to foster international collaboration among the Baltic Sea countries on these topics and to generate new, common projects related to BALTEX.

Description of tasks

The working group will be active during a three-year period (2007-2010), conducting working group meetings, organizing workshops open for all interested scientist on the topic, and setting up international collaborations and projects financed by the EU, BONUS or national funding agencies. An example of such a project proposed earlier within BALTEX is DETECTIVE (Detection of climate change and climate variability in the Baltic Sea Region), addressing the question how to discriminate between natural variations and anthropogenically induced climate change. Various scientific questions related to the tasks of the working group may be addressed using results of a RCM forced with lateral boundaries either from the ERA40 reanalysis or from transient global simulations. The working group will prepare a brief report summarizing the results of the discussions and of common projects until the next BALTEX conference in 2010.

News and Events

Members of the Working Group on the Utility of Regional Climate Models
(as of September 2008)
Markus Meier (Chair) SMHI and Stockholm University Sweden
Lars Bärring SMHI and Lund University Sweden
Ole Bøssing-Christensen DMI Denmark
Erik Kjellström SMHI Sweden
Philip Lorenz MPI Hamburg Germany
Burkhardt Rockel GKSS Germany
Eduardo Zorita GKSS Germany


BALTEX Workshop on the Utility of Regional Climate Models
at SMHI, Norrköping, 23 January 2008

The workshop was the start-up event of the recently approved new BALTEX Working Group on the Utility of Regional Climate Models (RCM), chaired by Markus Meier (SMHI, Sweden). It was held in conjunction with the 22nd BALTEX Science Steering Group meeting at the SMHI in Norrköping, Sweden. The workshop which was open to interested participants was attended by more than 50 scientists from Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Russia and Belarus. This demonstrated the wide resonance in the research community and the interest in the key objective of the new BALTEX Working Group on the Utility of Regional Climate Models, namely to infer added value from regional climate models as compared to global climate models.

The presentations demonstrated the state of the art in regional climate modelling in Northern Europe, with examples from SMHI´s Rossby Centre (Kjellström and Bärring), and from recent international projects like PRUDENCE and ENSEMBLES (Lorenz, Christensen) and other international initiatives like CEOP/GEWEX (Rockel) and ERAMESAN (Jansson and Persson). Added value for RCMs was demonstrated by the presentations focussing on coupling wave physics to RCMs (Rutgersson-Owenius), on the use for hydrological applications (Andreasson), and particularly on coupling marine (Meier) and terrestrial (Klemedtsson, Smith) biogeochemical models to RCMs.

A lively discussion evolved around the question what the added value of RCMs are and could be. The improved coupling of different components of the Earth system into the RCMs was considered be a challenge for the future. The integration of biogeochemical processes into RCMs was shown to be a good example in the attempt to arrive at a regional Earth System Model. This was demonstrated by the fact that 3 presentations dealt with the extension of RCMs to biogeochemical (rep. ecological) processes.

Chronological list of speakers and presentations as pdf

Erik Kjellström and Lars Bärring, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
Status of dynamical downscaling at the Rossby Centre and future plans

Philip Lorenz, Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
Regional climate change simulations from Ensembles

Burkhardt Rockel, GKSS-Research Centre Geesthacht, Germany
The Inter-Continental Transferability Study as part of CEOP/GEWEX

Ole Bøssing Christensen, Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
Validation and model weighting for PRUDENCE and ENSEMBLES simulations

Anna Jansson and Christer Persson, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
Meso-scale reanalysis of precipitation, temperature and wind over Europe –First attempt based on ERAMESAN and an outlook for future initiatives

Leif Klemedtsson, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden
Tellus: The Centre of Earth System Science at Göteborg University

Johan Andreasson, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
On the need of dynamical downscaling for hydrological applications

Markus Meier, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
Scenarios of the Baltic Sea ecosystem calculated with a regional climate model

Benjamin Smith, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Land surface dynamics and biogeochemistry in RCMs: state of art and future prospects

Anna Rutgersson-Owenius, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
A coupled wave-atmosphere RCM

Related links

BALTEX Working Group on Data management

BALTEX Working Group on Radar
BALTEX Working Group on the Utility of Regional Climate Models
BALTEX Working Group on BACC II


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Last update of this page: 25 May 2018