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WFDE5: bias adjusted ERA5 reanalysis data for impact studies

Cucchi, M., Weedon, G. P., Amici, A., Bellouin, N. ORCID:, Lange, S., Schmied, H. M., Hersbach, H. and Buontempo, C. (2020) WFDE5: bias adjusted ERA5 reanalysis data for impact studies. Earth System Science Data, 12 (3). pp. 2097-2120. ISSN 1866-3516

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/essd-12-2097-2020


The WFDE5 dataset has been generated using the WATCH Forcing Data (WFD) methodology applied to surface meteorological variables from the ERA5 reanalysis. The WFDEI dataset had previously been generated by applying the WFD methodology to ERA-Interim. The WFDE5 is provided at 0.5o spatial resolution, but has higher temporal resolution (hourly) compared to WFDEI (3-hourly). It also has higher spatial variability since it was generated by aggregation of the higher-resolution ERA5 rather than by interpolation of the lower resolution ERA-Interim data. Evaluation against meteorological observations at 13 globally distributed FLUXNET2015 sites shows that, on average, WFDE5 has lower mean absolute error and higher correlation than WFDEI for all variables. Bias-adjusted monthly precipitation totals of WFDE5 result in more plausible global hydrological water balance components as analyzed in an uncalibrated hydrological model (WaterGAP) than use of raw ERA5 data for model forcing. The dataset, which can be downloaded from (C3S, 2020), is distributed by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) through its Climate Data Store (CDS, C3S, 2020) and currently spans from the start of January 1979 to the end of 2018. The dataset has been produced using a number of CDS Toolbox applications, whose source code is available with the data - allowing users to re-generate part of the dataset or apply the same approach on other data. Future updates are expected spanning from 1950 to the most recent year. A sample of the complete dataset, which covers the whole 2016 year, is accessible without registration to the CDS at

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:91783
Publisher:Copernicus Publications


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