Software packages for climate data

Obtaining and using historical climate data from large datasets can be a time-consuming and complicated process. We have contributed to the development of a solution that makes it easier to retrieve data from the global climate data sets, ERA5 and ERA5-Land, which are available through the Copernicus Climate Service.

The solution is called KrigR and is an R software package, freely available and free of charge. The software makes it possible to specify which climate variables a user wants, for which regions and on which time scale – this makes the work processes with data acquisition quick and easy. KrigR can also be used to downscale data to the resolution that best suits the needs, using advanced statistical methods that take elevation and topography into account. In practice, this means that the resolution from the original data sets goes from 30 km down to 1 km. A 1 km resolution provides much better information in many cases where you want to look at local or regional changes.

Since the software is freely available to the public, theoretically anyone interested in climate data from the past (since 1940) to the present day can use it. Experience with the R programming language is an advantage. KrigR can for example be used by researchers who carry out local studies of changes in ecosystems and connections with ground temperature or other variables. Other fields of application include research into public health and heat waves, and state landscape management.

For more information, contact research leader François Counillon.


For access to KrigR, a tool to downscale climate data and make working with the data easier, go to GitHub