Rossby Centre publishes new CORDEX regional climate simulation data

CORDEX – the Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment is an international project, founded by by the World Climate Research Programme, which aims to coordinate international efforts in regional climate downscaling. The CORDEX project includes two main components; dynamical and statistical downscaling. Since 2010 the Rossby Centre has been heavily involved in CORDEX related dynamical downscaling by coordinating international regional modelling activities and producing regional climate simulations over various CORDEX domains. A number of these simulations have recently been published and are freely available to all interested users.

The latest version of the Rossby Centre Regional Climate Model - RCA4, developed at the Rossby Centre, has been used to downscale a subset of Global Climate Models (GCMs) simulations from the 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Future climate projections from nine CMIP5 GCMs, under both the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, have been downscaled in different combinations over 6 of 13 CORDEX domains: Africa, Europe, Arctic, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), South Asia and South America. One RCP2.6 scenario from EC-EARTH has also been downscaled for the 6 CORDEX domains chosen.

Most of the Rossby Centre CORDEX simulations are performed at 0.44º resolution, recommended by the CORDEX experiment design to be completed first. For this reference resolution, the Euro-CORDEX ensemble (9 GCMs downscaled) and the Africa-CORDEX ensemble (8 GCMs downscaled) are the largest ensembles of transient (1951-2100) regional climate simulations ever produced by one regional models driven by different GCMs. In addition to the reference 0.44º resolution 5 GCMs were selected for downscaling over the Euro-CORDEX domain at unprecedentedly high spatial resolution - 0.11º and 2 GCMs for downscaling over the MENA-CORDEX domain at 0.22º. Such very high resolution simulations can provide more small-scale details necessary for impact and adaption studies at regional scales; for example in regions with complex topography and/or coast line. CORDEX activities at the Rossby Centre have resulted in a total of 115 regional simulations over 6 selected CORDEX domains and 3 different resolutions, which are listed in Table 1 and illustrated in Figure 1 below.

CORDEX RC Simulations image
Figure 1: Illustration showing the simulations, at three resolution levels, over six selected domains completed by the Rossby Centre.
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Table 1: Rossby Centre CORDEX simulations over different CORDEX domains and at different resolutions.

The full Africa-CORDEX ensemble (26 simulations) has been already published on the Swedish ESGF data node and is freely accessible to all interested users. In coming weeks, and up until the end of 2013, all Rossby Centre CORDEX simulations shown in Table 1 and Figure 1, will be published on this data node. The publishing was possible thanks to support from the IS-ENES2 FP7 project and the published simulations are also visible, or will shortly be visible, on other IS-ENES2 European datanodes:,, and

List of CMIP5 GCMs used

  • CanESM2 (Canada)
  • CNRM-CM5 (France)
  • IPSL-CM5A-MR (France)
  • HadGEM2-ES (UK)
  • NorESM1-M (Norway)
  • EC-EARTH (European consortium), MIROC5 (Japan)
  • MPI-ESM-LR (Germany)


Jones C, F. Giorgi and G. Asrar, 2011: The Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment: CORDEX, An international downscaling link to CMIP5: CLIVAR Exchanges, No. 56, Vol 16, No.2 pages 34-40. Available from

List of acronyms

CORDEX - Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment
CMIP5 ¬ Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5
GCM – Global Climate Model
ERAINT – ERA-Interim Reanalysis
ESGF – Earth System Grid Federation
IS-ENES2 - Infrastructure for the European Network of Earth System Modelling, Phase 2.