A validation of ERA5 reanalysis data in the southern Antarctic Peninsula – Ellsworth Land region, and its implications for ice core studies

first_imgClimate reanalyses provide key information to calibrate proxy records in regions with scarce direct observations. The climate reanalysis used to perform a proxy calibration should accurately reproduce the local climate variability. Here we present a regional scale evaluation of meteorological parameters using ERA-Interim and ERA5 reanalyses compared to in-situ observations from 13 automatic weather stations (AWS), located in the southern Antarctic Peninsula and Ellsworth Land, Antarctica. Both reanalyses seem to perform better in the escarpment area (>1000 m a.s.l) than on the coast. A significant improvement is observed in the performance of ERA5 over ERA-Interim. ERA5 is highly accurate, representing the magnitude and variability of near-surface air temperature and wind regimes. The higher spatial and temporal resolution provided by ERA5 reduces significantly the cold coastal biases identified in ERA-Interim and increases the accuracy representing the wind direction and wind speed in the escarpment. The slight underestimation in the wind speed obtained from the reanalyses could be attributed to an interplay of topographic factors and the effect of local wind regimes. Three sites in this region are highlighted for their potential for ice core studies. These sites are likely to provide accurate proxy calibrations for future palaeoclimatic reconstructions.last_img read more