High Resolution Polar Regional Climate Model Output

Updated: January 2023

In our group at DMI we have produced an enormous amount of climate simualtions, all of our data is available,some of it is described below. But don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is something you need or want but that you can’t find.

We are in the process of migrating annual and monthly files to Zenodo. We will also be setting up a data server in the next year to deal wiht requests but as an interim solution (and yes I know these tend to becoem permanent) we use the prudence/ensembles server:


In this directory you will find HIRHAM5 regional climate model output and surface mass balance output for the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

Greenland is run at 5km resolution, Antarctica at 12km. Most of the data is stored as a daily output file. We have many many different variables and only a small subset is stored here so do ask if there is something you particularly want.

The ERAI directory contains the latest simulations driven by climate reanalysis (ERA-Interim and now updated with ERA-5). The palaeo directory contains results from some simulations we ran to model the Eemian interglacial 115 to 130 thousand years ago.

The EC-Earth directories contain climate projections forced on the boundaries with the global climate model using the old version of EC-Earth (see paper below for details).

The most recent paper describing some of these new runs is: Boberg et al, 2022 in the Cryosphere: https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/16/17/2022/


After some discussions over the weekend, it is clear that scientists and other interested peoples till find it hard to access our regional climate model data. I am very much in favour of open access data and my employers at DMI are currently engaged in a large project to make all of DMI data not only free (which most of it already is), but also easy to access and use.

I am thus here updating an old blog post with the latest links etc in the hope that it will make the HIRHAM model output more traceable.

The latest data from our simulations is here:


This includes hindcasts forced using ERA-Interim reanalysis as well as future projections forced using the EC-Earth global climate model. In the Horizon 2020 project PROTECT

I recommend looking at the readme.txt files for more details!

This is certainly nowhere near a complete download – we have many other variables and I recommend getting in touch with us directly if you have any questions about any of the data you need.

The most recent publications that document the model as we run it in Greenland can be found in this paper: 

Liquid Water Flow and Retention on the Greenland Ice Sheet in the Regional Climate Model HIRHAM5: Local and Large-Scale ImpactsLangen, Peter L., Fausto, Robert S., Vandecrux, Baptiste, Mottram, Ruth H., Box, Jason E., Frontiers in Earth Science4 (2017)

And in this paper: 

Surface Mass balance of the Greenland ice Sheet in the Regional Climate Model HIRHAM5: Present State and Future ProspectsMottram, RuthBoberg, FredrikLang Langen, PeterYang, ShutingRodehacke, ChristianChristensen, JensMadsen, Marianne75 (2017)

Note that this data is used also in the Surface Mass Balance plots that we show on the polar portal.  On this website, DMI and our collaborators at GEUS and DTU have a range of dat about the cryosphere – much of it in near real-time.

We use the output from the HARMONIE-AROME weather forecasting model to work out what the daily surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet is. This is then accumulated over the course of a mass balance year and the total gives an idea how healthy the ice sheet has it. Over the last few years we have also made a summary that is published on the excellent Carbon Brief website, here for example, is 2017.

As the surface mass balance year goes from the 1st September to 31st August, I’d like to wish you a very Happy New Year!

Daily Surface Mass Balance for the Greenland Ice Sheet at the start of the new 2018-19 season

It’s become clear that data accessibility is a big issue so here I want to provide a link site that to the most recent climate simulation data I have. I have done this before but this page will be more permanent. Ultimately this will become part of the DMI research website, but for now here is a quick and easy link to our data server.

In my day job I do climate simulations with the HIRHAM5 Regional Climate Model, specifically over Greenland but also in the Arctic. We have done a tremendous amount of work in upgrading and improving the model and we run it at, for a regional climate model, a very high resolution of 0.05 degrees, which is around 5km by 5 km grid squares. This resolution is really important when trying to resolve narrow ablation zones, or precipitation in high relief topography, like that we find in Greenland.

The latest data from the latest simulations is here:


This includes hindcasts forced using ERA-Interim reanalysis as well as future projections forced using the EC-Earth global climate model.

I recommend looking at the read me files for more details!

This is certainly nowhere near a complete download – we have many many variables that are output and these can be available in any time step from 3 hourly to daily to annual. For practical reasons, due to the immense file size! I have only put monthly and annual values here. Get in touch if you need something specific, I’m only too happy to have people workign with our data.

It is freely available for scientific purposes, but please credit our group – and in particular our funding agencies like to be acknowledged.

For reference to the actual model we have a couple of papers in the pipeline:

This latest run is an update on but similar to that presented here:

P. L. Langen, R. H. Mottram, J. H. Christensen, F. Boberg, C. B. Rodehacke, M. Stendel, D. van As, A. P. Ahlstrøm, J. Mortensen, S. Rysgaard, D. Petersen, K. H. Svendsen, G. Aðalgeirsdóttir, and J. Cappelen, 2015: Quantifying Energy and Mass Fluxes Controlling Godthåbsfjord Freshwater Input in a 5-km Simulation (1991–2012). J. Climate, 28, 3694–3713, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00271.1.

(and summarised in this blogpost)

A paper that has just been submitted to this  Frontiers Special Issue will be online soon and I will also write a summary here.

A paper I am currently writing for the journal of low temperature science at Hokkaido University to be submitted at the end of this month

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