CONFESS Data Management Plan

The CONFESS Data Management Plan responds to the requirements of the H2020 Open Research Data Pilot to document which research data is being produced by the CONFESS project, in which format, and how it will be made available. It has already identified data sets for work packages 1 to 3, but is only to be seen as an initial version which requires periodic updates to provide the necessary detail as it emerges.

The data management plan, available here, provides details for the following data sets:

  • Leaf Area Index (LAI)
  • Land Surface Model Simulations
  • Land Cover
  • Land Use Harmonisation (LUH2)
  • Fraction of Vegetation Cover (FCover)
  • Harmonised CMIP6/CAMS time-varying climatology of tropospheric aerosols
  • Seasonal re-forecasts
  • Multi-year integrations

If you would like to know more about the data sets that will be made available, please contact us.

Planned results

CONFESS is an ambitious project with equally ambitious outcomes. CONFESS will produce:

Data sets

  • Mapping of harmonized multi-year records of vegetation (LAI) and land cover ready for ingestion by the CHTESSEL and SURFEX models, suitable for their use in reanalyses and seasonal forecasts. This should improve the temporal variations of land properties, with expected impacts on regional climate and hydrology.
  • A harmonized multi-year data record of tropospheric aerosol by merging CMIP6 and CAMS information. This should result in an improved and more accurate representation of the time variation of tropospheric sulphate aerosols, available for use in future reanalyses and seasonal forecasts, with potential for improving global trends and low frequency large scale climate variability. It will be the first attempt to create a seamless temporal record of tropospheric aerosols suitable for a range of applications: reanalysis, seasonal forecasts, near-term predictions and multi-year climate integrations.

Model capabilities

  • Improved parameterizations that allow for consistent time varying properties of land cover and vegetation, in CHTESSEL and SURFEX;
  • Vegetation models in CHTESSEL and SURFEX validated according to their impact on climate;
  • A more accurate representation of observed volcanic aerosol, built into the IFS and available for use in future reanalyses and seasonal re-forecasts. This should result in better representation of large scale low frequency variability, and reduction on the uncertainty of natural versus forced climate variability;
  • A low-cost predictive model for the evolution of volcanic aerosol after a major eruption, which produces data in an easy-to-use form for seasonal prediction models. This provides a capability for such systems to react to major volcanic eruptions;
  • A single-species aerosol model for biomass burning forced by prescribed fire emissions embedded in seasonal forecasting systems. This will enable seasonal forecasting systems to attribute impact of large biomass burning events on regional climate, and will prepare the ground for future C3S evolution.

Proof of concepts and prototypes for C3S

  • Prototype of a land reanalysis representing consistent temporal variations of land cover and vegetation for the period 1993-present.
  • Proof-of-concept for treatment of temporal variations of land properties -land cover and vegetation- and improved radiative forcing from tropospheric aerosols in a full reanalysis.
  • Prototype of next generation of seasonal forecasts with treatment of temporal variations of land properties -land cover and vegetation- and improved radiative forcing from tropospheric aerosols.
  • Prototype of volcanic aerosols prediction module interfaced with seasonal forecast. New capability for C3S.
  • Proof-of-concept module for biomass burning impact interfaced with seasonal forecasts. New capability for C3S.


  • Scientific validation of developments on land cover and vegetation variations.
  • Scientific validation of improvements in tropospheric and stratospheric aerosols.
  • Assessment of land and aerosol improvements on seasonal forecast skill, global trends and representation of regional extremes
  • Recommendations for implementation in the C3S systems

CONFESS Project Kicked Off

The CONFESS project has officially started on the 1st of November 2020. Led by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and with Partners Meteo-France, Barcelona Supercomputing Centre and the Italian National Research Council, the project will run for 36 months with the aim to  improve the reliability and usability of Copernicus Climate Change Service information in the land-atmosphere coupled system by exploiting new and improved Earth Observations data records of land-use, vegetation states and surface-emitted aerosols delivered across different Copernicus Services.

The project had its virtual Kick-off meeting on the 3rd and 4th of November, bringing together both members of the consortium as well as stakeholders and advisers. The meeting focused on planning the work for the first year of the project.

CONFESS Kick-off Meeting