National Aeronautics and Space Administration

National Climate Assessment

NASA National Climate Assessment (NCA) Activities

NASA Centers Call for Proposals

National Climate Assessment - 2011 NASA Centers Call For Proposals

Lead PI and Center:  Michele Rienecker, Goddard Space Flight Center
Title:  A Reanalysis Synthesis of EOS Observations at Regional Scales to support the National Climate Assessment
Proposal Type: Enabling Tools
Project website:

The proposal builds upon the MERRA and the GMAO’s current near-real-time 1/4° analysis, as well as the work begun under GMAO’s ARRA projects (aerosol assimilation) and the Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) Carbon Flux Pilot project (carbon species).

Proposed Effort:
We propose supplying assimilated data sets that synthesize and integrate the satellite and other data streams for the EOS/Aura period at resolutions that will be useful for regional assessments of the current climate.  This will build on the ~50 km reanalysis for the satellite era generated as the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA). Specifically, we propose to:

  1. Use MERRA to extract regional and sector-specific products for use in the NCA. Use MERRA with the ERA-Interim Reanalysis from ECMWF and from NOAA’s CFSR where appropriate to estimate uncertainties in derived products.
  2. Update MERRA by using data streams (MLS, OMI, IASI, GPSRO) that were not included in MERRA, by including surface temperature assimilation and aerosol assimilation (MODIS) to improve the value of the product for radiative budgets, and by increasing the resolution (~25 km) to improve the regional utility of the products.
  3. Develop a higher resolution (~14 km) regional analysis prototype that can be used to evaluate dynamical and statistical downscaling of coarser resolution climate projections.

Regional and sector-specific products will be derived from MERRA and the updated analyses for potential use in the NCA report. In addition to providing subsetted products and some selected climate statistics, we will work with the NCA team to derive specific products of interest. Like the monthly-mean MERRA climate subset, the new products generated by the proposed project will be served to the National Climate Assessment team through a data portal at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) at Goddard.

By working with reanalysis users for the 2013 National Climate Assessment, we will develop products from an ongoing climate analysis using GMAO’s integrated assimilation systems that will enable an “on-going, permanent assessment capacity and capability in the nation.”.

The reanalysis will bring together observations from EOS/Aqua (AIRS, AMSU-A, MODIS, AMSR-E) in addition to the new observations from Aura noted above and from other observing systems to make a consistent estimate of the meteorology (winds, temperature, humidity, cloud properties), aerosols, ozone, and carbon species in both the troposphere and stratosphere. It will also provide land-surface states consistent with the atmospheric satellite data synthesis and satellite observations relevant to the land surface. This integrated reanalysis will provide the most thorough integrated view of the current climate that has been available to date. With a focus on EOS/Aura data, the updated analyses will be available for the early 21st century (2005-2009 by December 2012, continuing to 2011 by June 2013).