Year 1 highlights

The first period of the CONFESS project running from 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021 has just concluded, and an impressive list of results has been achieved.


  • A harmonized observational Leaf Area Index (LAI) dataset covering the 1993-2019 period has been finalized and disseminated to CONFESS partners.
  • The Land Use / Land Cover (LULC) dataset has been adapted to IFS Vegetation Types and shared with partners
  • The FCover dataset has been retrieved and finalized to support modelling in task 1.2 and 1.3.
  • Annual maps of LULC derived from LUH2 have been produced consistently with SURFEX plant functional types
  • Vegetation and atmospheric input (ERA5 hourly forcing) have been prepared separately for each partner.
  • A list of land model output (variables, frequency) has been agreed and shared between partners.
  • Spin-up of Land-only simulations with prescribed LAI is about to be run.
  • Performed parameter estimation and optimization for the implementation of the effective vegetation-cover parameterization based on FCover and LAI data: the observational data of FCover was retrieved for the time period 1999-2019 and harmonized using a CDF matching approach consistent with what was done  by ECMWF for the LAI data .
  • The observational FCover and LAI data have been first categorized by land cover type as identified in the observational ESA CCI land cover dataset on a 9km (Tco1279) grid.
  • Performed a historical land-only simulation with interactive vegetation.


  • A new approach has been developed to derive a new version of the CAMS aerosol climatology, using the latest IFS version with full chemistry and aerosol, and including 14 aerosol types.
  • A new climatology will be derived over a multi-decadal period to allow the creation of a time-varying climatology, to obtain both a more accurate representation of the present -day climatology, and a much more accurate representation of the time-evolution at a regional scale.
  • A test-suite for this new approach has been successfully implemented.
  • A climatology was created from the Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) developed and maintained by CAMS, which is due to be made available in the Atmosphere Data Store.
  • Observed emissions from GFAS are already implemented in the IFS ENS which will be used to carry out the experiments.
  • The modelling first on FireCCI burned area at 0.25 deg resolution aggregated over 12 months periods centered around the peak month (for each grid point) has started.


  • The experimental protocol for the experiments in WP3 has been developed, covering all the experiments in the WP (Tasks 1, 2 and 3).
  • Production of re-forecasts with prescribed changes in land surface conditions will start in the second year of the project.