Production and use of regional climate model projections – A Swedish perspective on building climate services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We describe the process of building a climate service centred on regional climate model results from the Rossby Centre regional climate model RCA4. The climate service has as its central facility a web service provided by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute where users can get an idea of various aspects of climate change from a suite of maps, diagrams, explaining texts and user guides. Here we present the contents of the web service and how this has been designed and developed in collaboration with users of the service in a dialogue reaching over more than a decade. We also present the ensemble of climate projections with RCA4 that provides the fundamental climate information presented at the web service. In this context, RCA4 has been used to downscale nine different coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) from the 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) to 0.44° (c. 50 km) horizontal resolution over Europe. Further, we investigate how this ensemble relates to the CMIP5 ensemble. We find that the iterative approach involving the users of the climate service has been successful as the service is widely used and is an important source of information for work on climate adaptation in Sweden. The RCA4 ensemble samples a large degree of the spread in the CMIP5 ensemble implying that it can be used to illustrate uncertainties and robustness in future climate change in Sweden. The results also show that RCA4 changes results compared to the underlying AOGCMs, sometimes in a systematic way.


  • Erik Kjellström
  • Lars Bärring
  • Grigory Nikulin
  • Carin Nilsson
  • Gunn Persson
  • Gustav Strandberg
External organisations
  • Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences


  • Climate services, CORDEX, Regional climate modelling, Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-29
Number of pages15
JournalClimate Services
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1
Publication categoryResearch