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Independent Quality Assessment of Essential Climate Variables

TitleIndependent Quality Assessment of Essential Climate Variables
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsYang, C., Cagnazzo C., Artale V., Nardelli B.B., Buontempo C., Busatto J., Caporaso L., Cesarini C., Cionni Irene, Coll J., Crezee B., Cristofanelli P., De Toma V., Essa Y.H., Eyring V., Fierli F., Grant L., Hassler B., Hirschi M., Huybrechts P., Le Merle E., Leonelli F.E., Lin X., Madonna F., Mason E., Massonnet F., Marcos M., Marullo S., Müller B., Obregon A., Organelli E., Palacz A., Pascual A., Pisano A., Putero D., Rana A., Sánchez-Román A., Seneviratne S.I., Serva F., Storto A., Thiery W., Throne P., Van Tricht L., Verhaegen Y., Volpe G., and Santoleri R.
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
KeywordsClimate change, Climate information, Climate record, Climate service, Climate variables, decision making, Decisions makings, Quality assessment, Quality Assurance, Quality assurance/control, Reanalysis, Reanalysis data, Satellite observations

If climate services are to lead to effective use of climate information in decision-making to enable the transition to a climate-smart, climate-ready world, then the question of trust in the products and services is of paramount importance. The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) has been actively grappling with how to build such trust: provision of demonstrably independent assessments of the quality of products, which was deemed an important element in such trust-building processes. C3S provides access to essential climate variables (ECVs) from multiple sources to a broad set of users ranging from scientists to private companies and decision-makers. Here we outline the approach undertaken to coherently assess the quality of a suite of observation- and reanalysis-based ECV products covering the atmosphere, ocean, land, and cryosphere. The assessment is based on four pillars: basic data checks, maturity of the datasets, fitness for purpose (scientific use cases and climate studies), and guidance to users. It is undertaken independently by scientific experts and presented alongside the datasets in a fully traceable, replicable, and transparent manner. The methodology deployed is detailed, and example assessments are given. These independent scientific quality assessments are intended to guide users to ensure they use tools and datasets that are fit for purpose to answer their specific needs rather than simply use the first product they alight on. This is the first such effort to develop and apply an assessment framework consistently to all ECVs. Lessons learned and future perspectives are outlined to potentially improve future assessment activities and thus climate services. © 2022 American Meteorological Society.


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Citation KeyYang2022E2032