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Earth System Science Data The Data Publishing Journal

Scheduled special issues

The following special issues are scheduled for publication in ESSD:

Paleoclimate data synthesis and analysis of associated uncertainty (BG/CP/ESSD inter-journal SI) 10 Oct 2017–30 Jun 2019 | Guest editors: H. Grobe, M. Kucera, and L. Jonkers | Information

Paleoclimate data provide unique insights into climate dynamics across a range of timescales. Importantly, paleoclimate data are the only means of evaluating and constraining climate models under boundary conditions different from today and the recent past. However, most paleoclimate data are presently archived in a fragmented and non-standardized way, necessitating synthesis efforts in order to allow meaningful analysis of spatio-temporal climate dynamics and data-model comparison. Moreover, paleoclimate data are inherently uncertain since they are based on indirect evidence (proxies) and associated with chronological error, requiring rigorous uncertainty analysis to separate signal from noise and to make full use of paleoclimate data syntheses.

This special issue provides a platform to present paleoclimate synthesis products, to review the current state of proxy uncertainty analysis, as well as to present new developments. The issue is organized within the paleoclimate data synthesis working group of the PALMOD ( project, which focuses on the past 130,000 years. However, this is an open submission issue and we explicitly invite contributions from across the paleoclimate community describing synthesis methods and results from any kind of archive and/or parameter. We welcome contributions presenting paleoclimate synthesis products and their analysis across timescales, with regional or global focus and both time slice and transient approaches as well as conceptual contributions to proxy data uncertainty analysis (theoretical, empirical, Bayesian).

Water, ecosystem, cryosphere, and climate data from the interior of Western Canada and other cold regions 01 May 2017–30 Sep 2018 | Guest editors: C. DeBeer, W. D. Helgason, and P. Marsh | Information

The Changing Cold Regions Network (CCRN) aims to understand, diagnose, and predict interactions amongst the cryospheric, ecological, hydrological, and climatic components of the changing Earth system at multiple scales with a geographic focus on Western Canada's rapidly changing cold interior. Across this region CCRN members operate a set of long-term water, ecosystem, cryosphere, and climate (WECC) observatories with data sets often spanning several decades. With this ESSD special issue, the Canadian network promotes the establishment, long-term maintenance, validation, description, accessibility, and distribution of high-quality cold-region data sets through a coordinated publication effort.

The special issue is open to all submissions within its scope and welcomes related observational and model data sets from cold-region observatories around the world.

The SPARC Reanalysis Intercomparison Project (S-RIP) (ACP/ESSD inter-journal SI) 01 Feb 2016–31 Dec 2018 | Guest editor: G. P. Stiller | Information

The climate research community uses reanalyses widely to understand atmospheric processes and variability in the middle atmosphere, yet different reanalyses may give very different results for the same diagnostics. For example, the global energy budget and hydrological cycle, the Brewer–Dobson circulation, stratospheric vortex weakening and intensification events, and large-scale wave activity at the tropical tropopause are known to differ among reanalyses.

The Stratosphere–troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate (SPARC) Reanalysis Intercomparison Project (S-RIP) is a coordinated activity to compare reanalysis data sets with respect to a variety of key diagnostics. The objectives of this project are

  1. to understand the causes of differences among reanalyses;
  2. to provide guidance on the appropriate usage of various reanalysis products in scientific studies;
  3. to contribute to future improvements in the reanalysis products by establishing collaborative links between the reanalysis centres and the SPARC community.

The project focuses predominantly on differences among reanalyses (although studies that include operational analyses are welcome and studies comparing reanalyses with observations are encouraged), with an emphasis on diagnostics in the upper troposphere, stratosphere and mesosphere. This special issue serves to collect research with relevance to S-RIP in preparation for the publication of the S-RIP report in 2018. Although participation in S-RIP is not a prerequisite for submission to this special issue, authors contributing to this collection are encouraged to consider contributing to the preparation of the S-RIP report.

Water vapour in the upper troposphere and middle atmosphere: a WCRP/SPARC satellite data quality assessment including biases, variability, and drifts (ACP/AMT/ESSD inter-journal SI) 10 Feb 2016–01 Apr 2018 | Guest editors: T. Leblanc and D. J. Carlson | Information

The Water Vapour Phase II (WAVAS II), a SPARC activity, started in 2008 (SPARC Newsletter No. 30 (2008) p. 16: SPARC Water Vapour Initiative, by C. Schiller et al.). The activity includes satellite assessment and in situ comparison components. This international activity encompasses:

  1. Providing a quality assessment of upper tropospheric to lower mesospheric satellite records since the early 1990s
  2. Providing, as far as possible, absolute validation against ground-truth instruments
  3. Assessing inter-instrument biases, depending on altitude, location, and season
  4. Assessing the representation of temporal variations on various scales
  5. Including data records on isotopologues
  6. Providing recommendations for usage of available data records and for future observation systems

The main objective of WAVAS II is to assess and extend our knowledge and understanding of measurements of the vertical distribution of water vapor in the upper troposphere and middle atmosphere (UT/MA), where water has small concentrations, but significant radiative impact. This is a follow-up of the SPARC WAVAS activity, whose report was published in 2000 (SPARC Report No. 2 (2000) Upper Tropospheric and Stratospheric Water Vapour. D. Kley, J.M. Russell III, and C. Philips (eds.). WCRP-113, WMO/TD - No. 1043). Information gained from this activity will improve our ability to estimate long-term changes with associated uncertainties in UT/MA water as well as make recommendations as to what data would be most valuable for model validation and how such data should be used. Papers will be accepted for this special issue according to the following guidelines, independent if they originate from the WAVAS II activity or other activities. Guidelines for submissions:

  • papers covering existing UT/MA satellite water vapour measurements;
  • papers discussing comparisons of UT/MA satellite measurements, including discussion of quantities derived from these measurements, such as seasonal cycles, estimates of transport, or estimates of drifts, trends and variability;
  • papers discussing merging of water vapour measurements will be considered, although this topic is not specifically part of the WAVAS-II activity;
  • model papers that incorporate the datasets discussed and the uncertainty estimates resulting from the WAVAS-II activity will also be considered for inclusion.


Chemistry–Climate Modelling Initiative (CCMI) (ACP/AMT/ESSD/GMD Inter-Journal SI) 23 Oct 2015–30 Sep 2018 | Guest editors: B. N. Duncan, A. Gettelman, P. Hess, G. Myhre, and P. Young | Information

IGAC/SPARC CCMI ( consists of a wide range of researchers, including chemistry-climate modelers, observationalists, and data analysts who are investigating the historical and projected evolution of stratospheric and tropospheric composition and chemistry, including the links between those domains, and the feedbacks with the physical climate. A current CCMI activity is a series of hindcast model simulations in support of upcoming ozone and climate assessments. The goal is to quantify how well the models can reproduce the past behavior (climatology, trends and interannual variability) of tropospheric and stratospheric ozone, other oxidants, and more generally chemistry-climate interactions, as well as to understand processes that govern these interactions. An emphasis is placed on observational based evaluation of model output, including model processes. A future CCMI activity will be to analyze projections of the future evolution of tropospheric and stratospheric ozone.

Hydrometeorological data from mountain and alpine research catchments 04 Aug 2015–30 Sep 2018 | Guest editors: J. Pomeroy and D. Marks | Information

This ESSD special issue responds to an international need to improve the understanding and modelling of mountain snow and ice hydrological processes. Data sets contributed to the special issue should support and promote research on the effects of mountain snowpacks and glaciers on water supply as well as study of variations in energy and water exchange amongst different high-altitude regions. This initiative arises from a new GEWEX Hydroclimatology Panel cross-cut project – INARCH, the International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology ( The guest editors invite contributions of openly available detailed meteorological and hydrological observational archives from long-term research catchments at high temporal resolution (at least 5 years of continuous data with hourly sampling intervals for meteorological data, daily precipitation and streamflow, and regular snow and/or glacier mass balance surveys) in well-instrumented mountain regions around the world. Contributors and researchers will use this mountain hydrology data publication special issue for the benefit of global alpine hydrological research.