C3S2_520: Quality Assurance for Datasets in the Climate Data Store

[Cod. 20225366 C3S 520 SC1]

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) operated by ECMWF aims to deliver quality assured climate data and authoritative information about climate change to support the European Union climate adaptation and mitigation policies. The backbone of the C3S is the climate data freely distributed through the Climate Data Store (CDS), which is the one-stop-shop to access climate datasets, including Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) from satellite and in-situ observations, climate reanalyses, seasonal forecasts, and climate projections. In the Cop1 phase (2015-2020), C3S launched a coordinated effort to perform an overarching quality assessment of the CDS datasets and functionalities, referred to as the Evaluation and Quality Control (EQC) function. 

C3S2_520 service is built to continue the implementation and operation of the EQC function of the C3S to address the quality of CDS datasets and further evolve and consolidate the existing assessment framework, procedures, and output. The core service of C3S2_520 is to: 

·    Deliver quality assessment of C3S climate datasets in a timely and efficient way by continuing the effort  addressed in previous EQC contracts

·          Consolidate the EQC function to ensure the quality and suitability of each dataset 

·          Enable users to self-assess climate datasets fitness-for-purpose for their own applications 

C3S2_520 proposes a strategy based on the combination of automatic procedures and scientific expertise. The implementation of automatic procedures will fully exploit the existing capabilities of the C3S infrastructures (e.g. Toolbox) in order to deliver reliable quality assurance reports in an efficient and timely way. 

The consortium members belong to 6 European countries. The primary contractor is the Italian National Research council (CNR), supported by B-Open, Fondazione Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Agenzia Nazionale Per Le Nuove Tecnologie, L’energia E Lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile (ENEA), Norwegian Meteorological Institute (Met Norway), Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), The Climate Data Factory (TCDF), and CoLAB +Atlantic (+Atlantic). 

In this project, a hierarchical structure to access quality assessment information is developed  to customize on the users’ needs of high-level information (Tier 1) and detailed information (Tier 2 and Tier 3) for each CDS catalogue entry. The hierarchy of EQC information includes: 

·      Tier 1 information, as the overview of quality assurance (QA) attributes of the data catalogue entries, containing visual clues and high-level information 

·     Tier 2 information, as the basic content of the quality assurance reports (QARs), providing access to metadata and documentation

·       Tier 3 information, providing the more detailed scientific quality assessments

The datasets assessed cover all categories of C3S datasets, including seasonal forecasts, CMIP and CORDEX projections, reanalyses, satellite and in-situ observations. IMEDEA is involved in the analysis of Sea Level and Surface currents ECVs from satellite datasets. We will perform an in-depth scientific assessment based on the revised independent assessment framework developed in the previous phase. In particular, we will compare satellite datasets with reanalyses (ORAS5) and in-situ data to understand and document differences and similarities between datasets for specific ECVs, which will help users with the choice of datasets for their applications (fitness for purpose). More importantly, we will intercompare old and new versions of the satellite datasets, to show the improvement of the dataset and provide user guidance of the usability of the datasets (if considered useful according to the data providers’ feedback). We will include external datasets (outside of CDS) if feasible.