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Home > Research > Era > Reanalysis at ECMWF

Reanalysis at ECMWF

ERA Project
Reanalysis at ECMWF
ERA-Interim
ERA-40
ERA-15
Publications
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Reanalyses of multi-decadal series of past observations have become an important and widely utilized resource for the study of atmospheric and oceanic processes and predictability. Since reanalyses are produced using fixed, modern versions of the data assimilation systems developed for numerical weather prediction, they are more suitable than operational analyses for use in studies of long-term variability in climate. Reanalysis products are used increasingly in many fields that require an observational record of the state of either the atmosphere or its underlying land and ocean surfaces. Estimation of renewable energy resources, calculation of microwave telecommunication signal losses and study of bird migration are just three examples.

The first reanalysis at ECMWF was carried out in the early 1980s for the First GARP Global Experiment (FGGE) year 1979, when ECMWF operations began. Two major ECMWF reanalyses have exploited the substantial advances made since then in the forecasting system and technical infrastructure. The first project, ERA-15 (1979-1993), was completed in 1995 and the second extended reanalysis project, ERA-40 (1957-2002), in 2002. Products of ERA-15 and ERA-40 have been used extensively by the Member States and the wider user community. They are also increasingly important to many core activities at ECMWF, particularly for validating long-term model simulations, for helping develop a seasonal forecasting capability and for establishing the climate of EPS (Ensemble Prediction System) forecasts needed for construction of forecaster-aids such as the Extreme Forecast Index.

ECMWF is currently producing ERA-Interim, a global reanalysis of the data-rich period since 1989. The ERA-Interim data assimilation system uses a 2006 release of the Integrated Forecasting System (IFS Cy31r2), which contains many improvements both in the forecasting model and analysis methodology relative to ERA-40. The ERA-Interim reanalysis caught up with operations in March 2009, and is now being continued in near-real time to support climate monitoring.



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