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CREATE Global Reanalyses

CREATE Global Reanalyses

The CREATE project contains nine global reanalyses (CFSR, ERA5, ERA-Interim, JRA-25, JRA-55, JRA-55-mdl-iso, MERRA, MERRA-2, 20CRv2c). Selected variables are standardized in the CMIP format and maintained. Five of the reanalyses are updated bi-monthly; MERRA and JRA-25 have ended and are superseded by the newer models MERRA-2 and JRA-55, respectively. 20CRv2c ended in 2010.

Atmospheric Monthly Data variables                                                                                                                         Ocean Monthly Data

Atmospheric 6-hourly Data variables                                                                                                     Ocean, seaIce Monthly Variables

Atmospheric Levels                                                                                                                                Land, LandIce Monthly Variables      

Atmospheric Daily variables


ERA-Interim (ERA-I)

ERA-Interim is a global atmospheric reanalysis produced by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The data assimilation system used to produce ERA-Interim is based on a 2006 release of the IFS (Cy31r2). The system includes a 4-dimensional variational analysis (4D-Var) with a 12-hour analysis window. The spatial resolution of the data set is approximately 80 km (T255 spectral) on 60 vertical levels from the surface up to 0.1 hPa. 
Source: ECMWF ERA-I Time range: 1979-present Resolution: 0.75° x 0.75° Pressure levels: 37 Frequency: monthly average, 6-hr, daily

CERA-20C, ECMWF Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Reanalysis of the 20th Century (CERA-20C)

CERA-20C is the ECMWF 10-member ensemble of coupled climate reanalyses of the 20th century, 1901-2010. CERA-20C is a product of the ERA-CLIM2 project and is based on the CERA assimilation system, which assimilates only surface pressure and marine wind observations as well as ocean temperature and salinity profiles. For more information see the ERA-CLIM2 EU-FP7 project PDF, click here.

Source: ECMWF ERA-CLIM2 Time range:1901-2010 Resolution: 1.25° x 1.25° Pressure levels: 37 Frequency: monthly average


European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ReAnalysis 5 (ERA5) is the fifth generation of ECMWF atmospheric reanalyses of the global climate, and the first reanalysis produced as an operational service. ERA5 is based on a 2016 version of the Integrated Forecast System (IFS Cycle 41r2). ERA5 provides hourly estimates of a large number of atmospheric, land and oceanic climate variables. The model output covers the Earth on a 30km grid and resolves the atmosphere using 137 levels from the surface to a height of 80km, and is converted by ECMWF to a regular lat/lon 0.25x0.25 grid and 37 pressure levels. ERA5 includes information about uncertainties for all variables at reduced spatial and temporal resolutions. The ERA5 dataset will eventually be available starting from 1950 and will replace the ERA-Interim reanalysis, which is ending in August 2019.

Source: ECMWF-ERA5 Time range:1979-Present Resolution: 0.25° x 0.25° Pressure levels: 37 Frequency: monthly average

Japanese 25-year Reanalysis (JRA-25)

 The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) conducted the Japanese 25-year Reanalysis (JRA-25) project to produce a climate dataset for the period from 1979 to 2004. The provision of these data was terminated in February 2014. JRA-25 is superceeded by JRA-55. 
Note: The JRA-25 actual time range is 197901-201402; the timerange for the data in the CREATE archive is 197901-201312.
Source: JMA JRA-25 Time range: 1979-2013 Resolution: 1.25° x 1.25° Pressure levels: 23 Frequency: monthly average

Japanese 55-year Reanalysis (JRA-55) and JRA-55 Model Resolution (JRA-55-mdl-iso)

The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) carried out the second reanalysis project (known as the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis, or JRA-55) using a more sophisticated DA system based on the operational system as of December 2009, and newly prepared dataset of past observations. The analysis period covers the 55 years from 1958, when regular radiosonde observation began on a global basis. Many of the deficiencies of JRA-25 are alleviated in JRA-55 because the DA system used for the project featured a variety of improvements introduced after JRA-25. As a result, the JRA-55 project produced a high-quality homogeneous climate dataset covering the last half century. 
CREATE maintains JRA-55 on pressure levels at 1.25 resolution and JRA-55 on pressure levels at model resolution (0.5625).
Source: JMA JRA-55 Time range: 1958-present Resolution: 1.25° x 1.25° Pressure levels: 37, 27 hur, spfh Frequency: monthly average, 6-hr, daily
Source: JMA JRA-model resolution Time range: 1958-present Resolution: 0.5625° x 0.5625° Pressure levels: 37 Frequency: monthly means, daily

NASA Modern-era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA)

The Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) dataset was released in 2009. It is based on a version of the GEOS-5 atmospheric data assimilation system that was frozen in 2008. MERRA data span the period 1979 through February 2016 and were produced on a 0.5° × 0.66° grid with 72 layers. MERRA was used to drive stand-alone reanalyses of the land surface (MERRA-Land) and atmospheric aerosols (MERRAero). The MERRA reanalysis dataset production was completed on February 29, 2016. MERRA-2, which incorporates various advances is currently in production.
Source: NASA GMAO MERRA Time range: 1979-201602
Resolution: 0.5° x 0.667°
1.25° x 1.25° (hur)
Pressure Levels: 42 Frequency: monthly average, 6-hr, daily

NASA Modern-era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2)

The Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2) provides data beginning in 1980. It was introduced to replace the original MERRA dataset because of the advances made in the assimilation system that enable assimilation of modern hyperspectral radiance and microwave observations, along with GPS-Radio Occultation datasets. It also uses NASA ozone observations after 2005. Additional advances in both the GEOS-5 model and the GSI assimilation system are included in MERRA-2. Spatial resolution remains about the same (about 50 km in the latitudinal direction) as in MERRA.
MERRA2-ASM is an assimilation product of four 6-hourly 3D variables (specific humidity/hus, temperature/ta, u-component of wind/ua and v-component of wind/va) offered by the NASA GSFC Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO). The data is formatted and offered here by the CREATE team for the ESGF archive.
Assimilated products are generated by forcing the GEOS model towards the analysis state (Incremental Analysis Update (IAU), as described in Bloom et al. (1996)) and output fields exhibit a greater degree of consistency among different fields than the analyzed products. Because of this internal consistency of the fields, the ASM product is recommended for studies using nudged online GCMs, offline CTMs, and trajectory models. For more information see the Supplementary Description of Differences between ANA and ASM Data Collections, click here.
Source: NASA GMAO MERRA-2 Time range: 1980-present Resolution: 0.5° x 0.625° Pressure levels: 42

Frequency: monthly average, 6-hr, daily. MERRA2-ASM: 6-hr

NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR and CFSv2)

CFSR is a reanalysis of the atmosphere, ocean, seaice and land over the 1979-2011 period, providing stable calibration and skill estimates for operational seasonal prediction at NCEP. The CFS version 2 is a fully coupled model representing the interaction between the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, land and seaice and became operational at NCEP in March 2011.
Source: NOAA NCEP CFSR Time range: 1979-present Resolution: 0.5° x 0.5° Pressure levels: 37 Frequency: monthly average, 6-hr, daily

20th Century Reanalysis version 2c (20CRv2c)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) 20th Century Reanalysis (20CRv2c) dataset contains global weather conditions and uncertainty in six hour intervals from the year 1871 to 2012. Surface and sea level pressure observations are combined with a short-term forecast from an ensemble of 56 integrations of an NCEP numerical weather prediction model using the Ensemble Kalman Filter technique to produce an estimate of the complete state of the atmosphere, and the uncertainty in that estimate.
Source: NOAA CIRES 20CRv2c Time range: 1871-2010 Resolution: 2.0° x 2.0° Pressure levels: 24 Frequency: monthly average


Atmospheric Daily Variables 

Long Name Variable Name MERRA MERRA-2 ECMWF CFSR JRA-55 JRA-55-mdl-iso JRA-25 20CRv2c IAP-UA TAS1hr CREATE-MRE CREATE-MRE2/MRE3
Precipitation pr        


Note: +Sprd indicates that the variable also has a corresponding standard deviation


Atmospheric Monthly Variables 

Air Pressure at Convective Cloud Base ccb                    
Air Pressure at Convective Cloud Top cct                    
Cloud Area Fraction cl                  
Ice Water Path clivi                    
Total Cloud Fraction clt ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Condensed Water Path clwvi                    
Evaporation evspsbl       ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Surface Upward Latent Heat Flux hfls       ✔+Sprd
Surface Upward Sensible Heat Flux hfss       ✔+Sprd
Relative Humidity hur   ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Near-Surface Relative Humidity hurs                
Specific Humidity hus ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Near-Surface Specific Humidity huss            
Precipitation pr   ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Convective Precipitation prc        
Snowfall Flux prsn                
Water Vapor Path prw ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Surface Air Pressure ps ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Sea Level Pressure psl ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Surface Downwelling Longwave Radiation rlds ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Surface Downwelling Clear-Sky Longwave Radiation rldscs          
Surface Upwelling Longwave Radiation rlus ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
TOA Outgoing Longwave Radiation rlut ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
TOA Outgoing Clear-Sky Longwave Radiation rlutcs     ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Surface Downwelling Shortwave Radiation rsds ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Surface Downwelling Clear-Sky Shortwave Radiation rsdscs          
TOA Incident Shortwave Radiation rsdt   ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Surface Upwelling Shortwave Radiation rsus ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
TOA Outgoing Shortwave Radiation rsut ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Surface Upwelling Clear-Sky Shortwave Radiation rsuscs          
TOA Outgoing Clear-Sky Shortwave Radiation rsutcs     ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Surface Snow and Ice Sublimation Flux sbl                    
Near-Surface Wind Speed sfcWind     ✔*              
Air Temperature ta ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Near-Surface Air Temperature tas ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Daily Maximum Near-Surface Air Temperature tasmax              
Daily Minimum Near-Surface Air Temperature tasmin              
Surface Downward Eastward Wind Stress tauu          
Surface Downward Northward Wind Stress tauv          
Mole Fraction of O3 tro3     ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Surface Temperature ts     ✔+Sprd
Eastward Wind ua ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Eastward Near-Surface Wind uas ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Northward Wind va ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Northward Near-Surface Wind vas ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Omega wap          
Geopotential Height zg     ✔+Sprd ✔+Sprd
Note: +Sprd indicates that the variable also has a corresponding standard deviation. ✔* for sfcWind variable for ECMWF is only available for ERA-I, and not ERA5.

Atmospheric 6-hourly Variables

Long Name Variable Name MERRA MERRA-2 ECMWF CFSR JRA-55
Air Temperature ta
Eastward Near Surface Wind uas
Eastward Wind ua
Evaporation evspsbl
Geopotential Height zg
Northward Near-Surface Wind vas
Northward Wind va
Ozone Mole Fraction tro3
Water Vapor Path prw
Precipitation  pr
Relative Humidity hur
Sea-level Pressure psl
Surface Air Pressure ps
Near-Surface Air Temerature tas
Total Cloud Fraction clt
Specific Humidity  hus
Surface Temperature  ts


Ocean Monthly Variables 

Sea Water Salinity so
Sea Water Potential Temperature thetao
Sea Water X Velocity uo
Sea Water Y Velocity vo


Ocean, seaIce monthly variables

Long name Variable Name Realm CFSR 20CRv2c ORA CERA-20C
Downward Heat Flux at Sea Water Surface hfds ocean      
Sea Water Salinity soSprd ocean      
Sea Water X Velocity uoSprd ocean      
Sea Water Y Velocity voSprd ocean      
Sea Water Potential Temperature thetaoSprd ocean      
Sea Water Salinity so ocean    
Sea Water Potential Temperature thetao ocean    
Sea Surface Temperature tos ocean      
Sea Water X Velocity uo ocean    
Sea Water Y Velocity vo ocean    
Sea Surface Height Above Geoid zos ocean      
Sea Ice Area Fraction sic seaIce  
Sea Ice Thickness sit seaIce    
Snow Depth snd seaIce    
Sea Ice Thickness sitSprd seaIce      
Snow Depth sndSprd seaIce      


Land, landIce monthly variables 

Long name Variable Name Realm CFSR 20CRv2c MERRA-2
Water Evaporation from Soil evspsblsoi land    
Evaporation from Canopy evspsblveg land    
Water Content of Soil Layer mrlsl land    
Total Runoff mrro land    
Surface Runoff mrros land    
Total Soil Moisture Content mrso land    
Moisture in Upper Portion of Soil Column mrsos land    
Transpiration tran land
Temperature of Soil tsl land  
Transpiration tranSprd land    
Temperature of Soil tslSprd land    
Snow Area Fraction snc landIce  
Snow Depth snd landIce  
Surface Snow Amount snw landIce  
Snow Area Fraction sncSprd landIce    
Snow Depth sndSprd landIce    
Surface Snow Amount snwSprd landIce    


Last Update: Feb. 25, 2020, 2:45 p.m. by Vincent Wild
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