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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


BALTIC GRID - Sharing expertise and databases in BALTEX

One of the major objectives of BALTEX Phase I was the development of coupled atmosphere- land-ocean-models for the Baltic Sea basin. This aim has been achieved and at least two coupled systems have been developed, the Regional Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Model (RCAO) at the Rossby Center in Sweden and the BALTEX-Integrated-Model-System BALTIMOS at the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology in Germany. For BALTEX Phase II, these models will be further developed and applied for BALTEX research, and will produce an enormous amount of data. These data are of very high scientific potential, and the analysis, validation and improvement of the models need international collaboration of different scientists, not only modellers. These models can be seen as nuclei for the development of Earth System Models (ESM) of the Baltic region. Regional Earth System Modelling belongs to the group of grand challenge problems with long model runs on supercomputers and high data storage requirements. Regional Earth system modelling of the BALTEX region requires an infrastructure for which BALTEX with its international cooperation and contacts has created an ideal basis. The BALTEX region constitutes an ideal test bed not only for model development and validation as well as developments in satellite techniques, but also for grid technologies - the BALTIC GRID. In the near future, scientific experiments (models and observations) will become more detailed and complex via improved modelling tools and new observational techniques such as new satellite sensors. This will cause a tremendous increase in information and data. The emphasis for BALTIC GRID until 2012 will be directed to the extension and intensification of the BALTEX communication network to share expertise and databases rather than distributed computing.


As a first step to BALTIC GRID, the BALTEX SSG initiated a Working Group on BALTIC GRID to coordinate activities and promote a BALTIC GRID Pilot Study. The intention of the pilot study is to intensively utilize the BALTEX community network to initiate the formation of international research groups to start important research within BALTEX Phase II. Furthermore, the research groups will be ideally suited as core groups to initiate funding proposals directed to both the EU and national funding agencies.

The target period for the pilot study will be 1999 to 2005. This period includes the BRIDGE period and recent extreme inflows to the Baltic Sea as well as extreme hot summers and flooding. Thus, this period is extraordinarily suited to study extreme events in the Baltic catchment. A synthesis of BALTEX BRIDGE is up to now missing. With modelled data and corresponding observations including satellite data, a synthesis would be possible including a detailed quantification of the energy and water cycles of the Baltic Sea basin. The BALTIC GRID Pilot Study should last for about 2 years. Participating research groups should take advantage of existing observations and satellite data in conjunction with model simulations of the target period. Thus, data needed include model data from process models and coupled atmosphere-land-ocean models, and observations consisting of basic measurements of atmosphere, land and ocean, flux-measurements and satellite data. The general objectives with focus on the target period are:

  • determining the energy and water budgets of the Baltic Sea catchment

  • quantification of fluxes between atmosphere and land, as well as between atmosphere and the ocean including sea ice

  • quantifiation of uncertainties

  • study of extreme events

The following projects or case studies have been identified as a framework of potential sub-projects (SPs) within the BALTIC GRID Pilot Study:

SP BRIDGE Synthesis (Quantification of the Energy and Water Cycle including P-E)

This subproject focuses on the quantification of the energy and water cycle of the Baltic Sea catchment with the intention to determine river runoff, P-E, in- and outflow through the Danish Straits, as well as im- and export of heat and water vapour to the BALTEX area as accurate as possible. For the target period, the mean conditions and their variability should be determined also as reference for further studies. Thus, projects should be grouped around the following items:

  • inventory of observations and satellite data
  • budgets and uncertainties
  • climate variability

SP Coastal Regions

The atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) over the Baltic Sea is typically not entirely in balance with the local sea surface, but there is a certain coastal infl uence. This influence might reach as far as 100 km off the coast, thus, major parts of the ABL over the Baltic Sea are under coastal influence. Furthermore, coastal waters are the important transition zone between the coast and the deep basins of the Baltic Sea, and there is still little knowledge whether fluxes of heat and material (salt, nutrients and toxic substances) are directed from the coastal area to the open sea or vice versa. Projects should be grouped around the following items:

  • atmospheric boundary layer, atmosphere-ocean and atmosphere-sea ice-ocean fluxes
  • coastal mesoscale features
  • coastal seas and transports including up- and downwelling
  • sea ice dynamics and ice thickness distribution

SP Wind, Water Vapour and Cloud Properties

This subproject aims at the comparison of the representation of wind, water vapour and clouds in coupled atmosphere-land-ocean models with corresponding measurements by mainly using satellite data. Wind, water vapour and clouds strongly affect the air-sea and air-sea ice fluxes. Thus, this SP is strongly related to SP Coastal Regions.

  • wind over water
  • detailed analysis of clouds and water vapour

SP Großwetterlagen and Extreme Events (Forcing and Response)

Large scale and mesoscale weather patterns should be investigated in relation to extreme events. As the target period includes extremes such as hot summers, flooding and major inflows, typical weather patterns (classification) might be identified as responsible for extreme situations.

  • classification, probability and extreme events
  • convective Großwetterlagen and precipitation


We would like to encourage scientists of the BALTEX community who are interested to take part in the BALTIC GRID Pilot Study (see below) to send in a single page proposal to the BALTEX Secretariat (baltex@, with the following specifications:
  • relation to the subprojects (SPs)
  • name of the project
  • scientific objectives and aims
  • data needs
  • responsible scientist and partners
  • time plan
Some ideas have already been received in response to an earlier e-mail announcement. These are already a part of BALTIC GRID and do not need to be re-submitted.

BALTEX Working Group

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Last update of this page: 7 May 2008