The assessment of climate change impacts on the North Sea and the overlying atmosphere requires reliable reference data in order to identify change and impacts against a highly variable background with time scales from hours to multi-decadal. Therefore, in the frame work of the research programme "KLIWAS - Impacts of climate change on waterways and navigation - Searching for options of adaptation" of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS), a new climatology was developed in a close co-operation of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), the German Meteorological Service (DWD) and the Integrated Climate Data Center (ICDC) of the University Hamburg.
All available oceanographic in-situ data for temperature and salinity have been carefully checked for quality before further processing, while the atmospheric data had already been quality controlled by the DWD. More than 13 million temperature and 12 million salinity (starting in 1890) as well as more than 19 million atmospheric data (air temperature, dew point and air pressure starting in 1950) have been processed. Monthly averages have been created on specified grids for the ocean and atmosphere. For the first time oceanographic and meteorological climatologies are provided on a coordinated grid. The climatological data set is supposed to be growing with time and new data can be implemented as they are collected. it is planned to add additional parameters in future.
The climatologies will be used to analyse the temporal and spatial variability in the North Sea area and deduce long-term trends. Additional the data sets will be needed for the validation of regional climate scenarios. The products are publicly available at the ICDC portal ( http://icdc.cen.uni-hamburg.de/1/projekte/knsc.html ).