An evaluation of the performance of the 20th Century Reanalysis version 3

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  • 1 Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 2 NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 3 Hadley Centre, Met Office, Exeter, UK
  • 4 Riverside Technology, inc, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
  • 5 National Centers for Environmental Information, Asheville, North Carolina, USA
  • 6 Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research and Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 7 Axis Capital, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 8 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 9 School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 10 Centre for Climate Change, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
  • 11 Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  • 12 National Research Council, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Padua, Italy
  • 13 National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK
  • 14 Aragonese Agency for Research and Development Researcher (ARAID), Zaragoza, Spain
  • 15 Department of Geography, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
  • 16 Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, Australian National University, Australia
  • 17 National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK
  • 18 Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
  • 19 Hong Kong Observatory, Hong Kong, China
  • 20 National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 21 World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Science and Innovation Department, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 22 Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, USA
  • 23 Department of Meteorology and Climatology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland
  • 24 Centre for Climate Change Research, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland
  • 25 Centre for Applied Climate Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
  • 26 Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Montreal, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • 27 Deutscher Wetterdienst, Hamburg, Germany
  • 28 Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 29 Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Canada
  • 30 NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, Washington, USA
  • 31 Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, USA
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The performance of a new historical reanalysis, the NOAA-CIRES-DOE 20th Century Reanalysis Version 3 (20CRv3), is evaluated via comparisons with other reanalyses and independent observations. This dataset provides global, 3-hourly estimates of the atmosphere from 1806 to 2015 by assimilating only surface pressure observations and prescribing sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, and radiative forcings. Comparisons with independent observations, other reanalyses, and satellite products suggest that 20CRv3 can reliably produce atmospheric estimates on scales ranging from weather events to long-term climatic trends. Not only does 20CRv3 recreate a “best estimate” of the weather, including extreme events, it also provides an estimate of its confidence through the use of an ensemble. Surface pressure statistics suggest that these confidence estimates are reliable. Comparisons with independent upper-air observations in the Northern Hemisphere demonstrate that 20CRv3 has skill throughout the 20th century. Upper-air fields from 20CRv3 in the late 20th century and early 21st century correlate well with full-input reanalyses, and the correlation is predicted by the confidence fields from 20CRv3. The skill of analyzed 500hPa geopotential heights from 20CRv3 for 1979-2015 is comparable to that of modern operational 3- to 4-day forecasts. Finally, 20CRv3 performs well on climate timescales. Long time series and multidecadal averages of mass, circulation, and precipitation fields agree well with modern reanalyses and station- and satellite-based products. 20CRv3 is also able to capture trends in tropospheric layer temperatures that correlate well with independent products in the 20th century, placing recent trends in a longer historical context.

Denotes content that is immediately available upon publication as open access.

Corresponding author: Laura Slivinski (laura.slivinski@noaa.gov)

The performance of a new historical reanalysis, the NOAA-CIRES-DOE 20th Century Reanalysis Version 3 (20CRv3), is evaluated via comparisons with other reanalyses and independent observations. This dataset provides global, 3-hourly estimates of the atmosphere from 1806 to 2015 by assimilating only surface pressure observations and prescribing sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, and radiative forcings. Comparisons with independent observations, other reanalyses, and satellite products suggest that 20CRv3 can reliably produce atmospheric estimates on scales ranging from weather events to long-term climatic trends. Not only does 20CRv3 recreate a “best estimate” of the weather, including extreme events, it also provides an estimate of its confidence through the use of an ensemble. Surface pressure statistics suggest that these confidence estimates are reliable. Comparisons with independent upper-air observations in the Northern Hemisphere demonstrate that 20CRv3 has skill throughout the 20th century. Upper-air fields from 20CRv3 in the late 20th century and early 21st century correlate well with full-input reanalyses, and the correlation is predicted by the confidence fields from 20CRv3. The skill of analyzed 500hPa geopotential heights from 20CRv3 for 1979-2015 is comparable to that of modern operational 3- to 4-day forecasts. Finally, 20CRv3 performs well on climate timescales. Long time series and multidecadal averages of mass, circulation, and precipitation fields agree well with modern reanalyses and station- and satellite-based products. 20CRv3 is also able to capture trends in tropospheric layer temperatures that correlate well with independent products in the 20th century, placing recent trends in a longer historical context.

Denotes content that is immediately available upon publication as open access.

Corresponding author: Laura Slivinski (laura.slivinski@noaa.gov)
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