New Interdisciplinary Initiative to Study the Southern Ocean

A six-year, $21 million NSF-sponsored program to study the Southern Ocean and surrounding region was just launched. The SOCCOM (Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling) project is housed at Princeton University and brings together investigators from 11 institutions to study the role of the Southern Ocean in climate change and biogeochemistry through observations and modeling. Another goal for the program is to cultivate new scientists and conduct outreach to disseminate the results and broader impact. Furthermore, SOCCOM is deploying Argo floats with biogeochemical sensors that will increase monthly measurements by 10-30 times in the region. Visit their website for more information:

Continue ReadingNew Interdisciplinary Initiative to Study the Southern Ocean

Geology of northern Alaska: Examining the Arctic Alaska-Chukotka microplate

(Geological Society of America) The tectonic evolution of the Arctic remains a subject of considerable uncertainty. The unknown Paleozoic and Mesozoic movements of a large block of continental crust, the Arctic Alaska-Chukotka microplate, contribute significantly to that uncertainty. Edited by Julie A. Dumoulin and Allison Till of the US Geological Survey, this eight-chapter volume addresses that uncertainty and demonstrates the power of modern research tools to penetrate the effects of orogenesis and to reconstruct pre-deformational tectonic and paleogeographic histories.

Continue ReadingGeology of northern Alaska: Examining the Arctic Alaska-Chukotka microplate

International Project Office for CORDEX (IPOC) hosted at SMHI

The International Conference on Regional Climate – CORDEX 2013 illustrated the tremendous growth of, and interest in CORDEX. It was clear that CORDEX now requires even stronger global coordination with the appropriate administrative, scientific and technical support to respond to expanding activities worldwide therefore justifying the establishment of a dedicated International Project Office for CORDEX (IPOC).

A call to host such office was issued in December 2013, with the initial 1st April deadline extended until 30th April 2014 when three offers were received.

A selection board was established by the WCRP Joint Planning Staff (JPS), in close consultation with the CORDEX Science Advisory Team (SAT) and with due consideration of CORDEX governance, expertise in regional climate science and application, and geographical and gender balance.

The review process was conducted in two phases:

  1. an independent evaluation based on the two main criteria as set out in the call (the strength of the offer and the ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the office), which was carried out during the week 2th-6th June; and
  2. a conference call on 10th June to discuss scores and comments so as to provide a recommendation to the new Director of WCRP, David Carlson, who joined us on 13th June.

The selection board reached a consensus in strongly recommending the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) as the institution to host the International Project Office for CORDEX. This recommendation has now been approved by our Director and we will move ahead in formally establishing the office at SMHI.

The board also made the following recommendations for the office: 

  • Keep and further develop a global perspective and role beyond the EU realm; •
  • Leverage existing institutional strengths and resources across the community to enhance training and capacity building activities (for example ICTP and centres in Asia and Latin America) and data management support (DMI and other CORDEX data nodes);
  • Support resource mobilization for CORDEX regions, especially in developing countries;
  • Ensure close liaison with both the CORDEX Scientific Advisory Team (SAT) and the Working Group on Regional Climate (WGRC) to define both the office and CORDEX scope of activities and linkages with user communities.

WCRP is truly grateful to all applicants for putting forward very strong offers and for their continued engagement in WCRP, and is now looking forward to establishing the International Project Office for CORDEX at SMHI during late 2014

Continue ReadingInternational Project Office for CORDEX (IPOC) hosted at SMHI

CORDEX Science Advisory Team

Following the pioneering and successful work of the Task Force on Regional Climate Downscaling (TFRCD) which mandate ended in 2011, the WCRP has now established a CORDEX Science Advisory Team which mandate is to implement and oversee, in communication with the broader scientific community, the following tasks:

  1. Further develop a framework to evaluate RCD techniques for use in downscaling global climate projections. Such a framework is conceptually similar to the successful coupled model intercomparisons undertaken by the WGCM, and has the goal of quantifying the performance of RCM techniques and assessing their relative merits.
  2. Foster an international coordinated effort to develop improved downscaling techniques and to provide feedback to the global climate modelling community. A specific objective is to produce improved multi-model RCD-based high-resolution climate information over regions worldwide for input to impact/adaptation work and to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.
  3. Promote greater interactions between climate modelers, downscalers and end-users to better support impact/adaptation activities and to better communicate the scientific uncertainty inherent in climate projections and downscaled products. An important theme in this activity is to promote greater involvement of scientists from developing countries.

The CORDEX-SAT is expected to report regularly at the JSC and the Working Group on Regional Climate (WGRC) meetings on the progress of its activities. Members are appointed for a 3-year term, with the possibility of 2-year extensions.

Continue ReadingCORDEX Science Advisory Team


Regional climate downscaling (RCD) techniques, including both dynamical and statistical approaches, are being increasingly used to provide higher-resolution climate information than is available directly from contemporary global climate models. The techniques available, their applications, and the community using them are broad and varied, and it is a growing area. It is important however that these techniques, and the results they produce, be applied appropriately and that their strengths and weaknesses are understood. This requires a better evaluation and quantification of the performance of the different techniques for application to specific problems. Building on experience gained in the global modelling community, a coordinated, international effort to objectively assess and intercompare various RCD techniques will provide a means to evaluate their performance, to illustrate benefits and shortcomings of different approaches, and to provide a more solid scientific basis for impact assessments and other uses of downscaled climate information.

The WCRP views regional downscaling as both an important research topic and an opportunity to engage a broader community of climate scientists in its activities. The Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) has served as a catalyst to achieve this goal.

As demonstrated at the recent International Conference on Regional Climate - CORDEX 2013 held on 4-7 November in Brussels, Belgium, and co-sponsored by WCRP, the European Commission and IPCC, the CORDEX concept has gained maturity and is showing strong buy-in from the science community and VIA practitioners.

In order to meet stakeholders’ expectations, plans are now underway to follow-up on the conference outcomes so as to improve the experimental framework leading into the second phase of CORDEX (CORDEX-II)."

Continue ReadingHistory



Filippo Giorgi
Earth System Physics Section, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
Trieste, ITALY
    giorgi (at)
William  Gutowski
Iowa State University
Dept. of Geological & Atmospheric Sciences
Ames, Iowa, USA
I. Anguelovski
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Barcelona, SPAIN
    Isabelle.Anguelovski (at)
R. Krishnan Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCR)
Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
    krish (at)
W. T. Kwon National Institute of Meteorological Research
Korea Meteorological Administration
    0wontk (at)
C. Lennard

University of Cape Town
    lennard (at)

G. Nikulin
Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
Norrköping, SWEDEN
    grigory.nikulin (at)
S. Solman

University of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA

    solman (at)

T. Stephenson
Univesity of West Indies
Kingston, JAMAICA
    tannecia.stephenson02 (at)
B. Timbal
Bureau of Metelorolgy
    B.Timbal (at)

Continue ReadingMembers


The main goals are :

  1. To quality-control data sets of RCD-based information for the recent historical past and 21st century projections, covering the majority of populated land regions on the globe. The RCD information samples uncertainties in Regional Climate Change associated with varying Global Climate Model (GCM) simulations, varying greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration scenarios, natural climate variability and different downscaling methods. The CORDEX downscaling activities are based on the latest set of GCM climate scenarios and predictions produced within the 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5)
  2. To build a common set of Regional Climate Model (RCM) domains for dynamical downscaling and define a standard set of variables, frequency and format for output and archival at a number of CORDEX data centers
  3. To coordinate a range of RCM simulations for the defined domains, forced by analyses of observations (currently ERA-Interim) to provide a benchmark framework for model evaluation and assessment. This exercise should include also statistical downscaling (SD) methods
  4. To develop of Regional Analysis and Evaluation Teams to: Evaluate the ensemble of RCD simulations Develop a suitable set of regional-specific metrics for RCD evaluation Collect suitable observational data to evaluate high-resolution RCD simulations Design experiments to investigate the added-value of RCDs and target future priorities in RCD research
  5. To engagement with the broad RCD community in its activities and discussions
  6. To support and inform the climate impact assessment and adaptation groups interested in utilizing CORDEX RCD material in their research.

Continue ReadingCORDEX Goals