15 Mar 2021

15 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

ERA5-Land: A state-of-the-art global reanalysis dataset for land applications

Joaquín Muñoz-Sabater1, Emanuel Dutra2,3, Anna Agustí-Panareda1, Clément Albergel4,5, Gabriele Arduini1, Gianpaolo Balsamo1, Souhail Boussetta1, Margarita Choulga1, Shaun Harrigan1, Hans Hersbach1, Brecht Martens6, Diego G. Miralles6, María Piles7, Nemesio J. Rodríguez-Fernández8, Ervin Zsoter1, Carlo Buontempo1, and Jean-Noël Thépaut1 Joaquín Muñoz-Sabater et al.
  • 1European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK
  • 2Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 3Instituto Dom Luiz, IDL, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 4CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 5European Space Agency Climate Office, ECSAT, Didcot, UK
  • 6Hydro-Climate Extremes Lab (H-CEL), Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  • 7Image Processing Laboratory (IPL), Universitat de València, València, Spain
  • 8Centre d’Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère (CESBIO), Université Toulouse 3, CNES, CNRS, INRAE, IRDe, Toulouse, France

Abstract. Framed within the Copernicus Climate Change Service of the European Commission, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is producing an enhanced global dataset for the land component of the 5th generation of European ReAnalysis (ERA5), hereafter named as ERA5-Land. Once completed, the period covered will span from 1950 to present, with continuous updates to support land monitoring applications. ERA5-Land describes the evolution of the water and energy cycles over land in a consistent manner over the production period, enabling the characterisation of trends and anomalies. This is achieved through global high resolution numerical integrations of the ECMWF land surface model driven by the downscaled meteorological forcing from the ERA5 climate reanalysis, including an elevation correction for the thermodynamic near-surface state. ERA5-Land shares with ERA5 most of the parametrizations that guarantees the use of the state-of-the-art land surface modeling applied to Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models. A main advantage of ERA5-Land compared to ERA5 and the older ERA-Interim is the horizontal resolution, which is enhanced globally to 9 km compared to 31 km (ERA5) or 80 km (ERA-Interim), whereas the temporal resolution is hourly as in ERA5. Evaluation against independent in situ observations and global model or satellite-based reference datasets shows the added value of ERA5-Land in the description of the hydrological cycle, in particular with enhanced soil moisture and lake description, and an overall better agreement of river discharge estimations with available observations. However, ERA5-Land snow depth fields present a mixed behaviour when compared to those of ERA5, depending on geographical location and altitude. The description of the energy cycle shows comparable results with ERA5. Nevertheless, ERA5-Land reduces the global averaged root mean square error of the skin temperature, taking as reference MODIS data, mainly due to the contribution of coastal points where spatial resolution is important. Since January 2020, the ERA5-Land period available extends from January 1981 to near present, with 2 to 3 months delay with respect to real-time. The segment prior to 1981 is in production, aiming to a release of the whole dataset in summer 2021. The high spatial and temporal resolution of ERA5-Land, its extended period, and the consistency of the fields produced makes it a valuable dataset to support hydrological studies, to initialise NWP and climate models, and to support diverse applications dealing with water resource, land and environmental management.

The full ERA5-Land hourly and monthly averaged dataset presented in this paper are available through the Climate Data Store, and, respectively.

Joaquín Muñoz-Sabater et al.

Status: open (until 13 May 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Joaquín Muñoz-Sabater et al.

Data sets

ERA5-Land hourly data from 1981 to present, Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Climate Data Store (CDS) J. Muñoz-Sabater

ERA5-Land monthly averaged data from 1981 to present, Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Climate Data Store (CDS) J. Muñoz-Sabater

Joaquín Muñoz-Sabater et al.


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Short summary
The creation of ERA5-Land responds, among others, to a growing number of applications requiring global land datasets at a resolution higher than traditionally reached. ERA5-Land provides operational, global, hourly, at 9 km resolution key variables of the water and energy cycles over land surfaces, from 1981 until present. This paper provides evidence of an overall improvement of the water cycle compared to previous reanalysis, whereas the energy cycle variables perform as good as those of ERA5.