Comparison of open access global climate services for hydrological data

J. Merks*, C. Photiadou, F. Ludwig, B. Arheimer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


There is a high demand for openly accessible hydroclimatic data for climate change adaptation. Different data sources are available, however, discrepancy between the data can confuse users and should be evaluated and explained. This study, investigates how climate impact indicators (CIIs) developed for global users in the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) are comparable to other openly available global data for water and climate. We found that, for temperature, datasets are comparable and climate impacts are thus considered robust. Important discrepancies arise in the precipitation indicators. Of the CIIs analysed in this study, the hydrological CIIs differ most so they should be used with care. These differences are probably caused by model uncertainty (hydrological model, HM; global climate model, GCM), ensemble size and model selection. A HM ensemble, as well as a GCM ensemble combined with improved model performance and selection criteria, should be used to ensure high-quality global water and climate services.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Oct 2020


  • climate indicators
  • Copernicus Climate Change Services
  • hydrological impacts
  • quality assurance


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