A daily time-step observed and scenario climate dataset on a European grid for crop modelling applications (version 1)
Fronzek, Stefan
ORCID: 0000-0003-2478-8050
Affiliation: Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finland

Webber, Heidi
ORCID: 0000-0001-8301-5424
Affiliation: Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Germany

Rötter, Reimund
ORCID: 0000-0002-3804-9964
Affiliation: University of Göttingen, Germany

Ruane, Alex
ORCID: 0000-0002-5582-9217
Affiliation: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, (GISS), USA

Ewert, Frank
Affiliation: University of Bonn, Germany; Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Germany
Creator Institution
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finland
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Muencheberg (Germany)
University of Göttingen, Germany
NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, USA (GISS)
University of Bonn, Germany; Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Germany
Contributor Person
Contact Person: Fronzek, Stefan
Contributor Institution
Hosting Institution: Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Muencheberg (Germany)
Data Collector: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, USA (GISS)
Data Collector: University of Göttingen, Germany
Data Collector: University of Bonn, Germany
Data Collector: Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finland
Abstract: The data set contains daily time-step observed and scenario climate data on a European grid with 25 km x 25 km spatial resolution and is intended to be used for crop modelling applications. The dataset covers the period 1980-2010 for observations (for a baseline period of 1981-2010 and the year 1980 for crop model simulations with sowing dates in the autumn) and the periods 2040-2069 and 2070-2099 for 5 GCMs x 2 forcing scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) and 2 GCMs with RCP2.6. The Joint Research Centre’s (JRC) Agri4Cast gridded dataset was used for the baseline. The scenarios have been calculated using an enhanced delta change method that applies changes in aspects of temperature and precipitation variability in addition to changes in mean climate.

Methods: The structure of the single tables refers to the gridcode of the model, for example the gridcode 35120 fits the location 35_120. This means the gridcode column is 120, the row 35. The explanation can be found in the properties of the kml file or the associated grid file.

The data was generated by applying a “delta change factor” based on GCM outputs for RCP scenarios corresponding to the periods: 2040 until 2069 and from 2070 until 2099. As the “delta change factor” for these periods was applied to baseline observations for the period of 1.1.1980 to 31.12.2010, the dates for the respective scenario periods are still 1.1.1980 to 31.12.2010, due to the fact they are scenarios (ie, what would climate be relative to baseline climate). Pragmatically this avoids issues with different alignment of leap years between baseline and scenario periods. This is standard practice in climate data. Users of the data can adjust the dates as needed for their application.

Two versions of the dataset are available: version 1 (this page - DOI:; consisting of 8709 grid cells) that was used by Webber et al. (2018) and an updated version 2 (DOI:; consisting of 8748 grid cells) that corrects an error when accounting for altitude differences to agricultural cultivation areas. It is recommended to use the latest version, unless the data are intended to be used for direct comparison with the results of Webber et al. (2018)
Related identifier
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Resource type
Dataset; table
AGROVOC: Crop modeling
Collected (start date): 01.01.1980
Collected (end date): 31.12.2100
Funding Reference
Award Number: 292836 (Academy of Finland)
Award Number: 277403 (Academy of Finland)
Award Number: 277276 (Academy of Finland)
Funder Name: Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Funder Name: Academy of Finland
Publication Year
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Muencheberg (Germany)
Structure of Data Table
Table: Climate_macsur_v1

Column name Units Description
Period - ​code indicating the time period (0: 1980-2010, 2: 2040-2069, 3: 2070-2099) code indicating the time period (0: 1980-2010, 2: 2040-2069, 3: 2070-2099), calculated
gcm_rcp - ​code for GCM/RCP simulation denoted as GCM_RCP, where GCM is one of GFDL-CM3, GISS-E2-R, HadGEM2-ES, MIROC5, MPI-ESM-MR and RCP one of 26, 45 and 85 for RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, calculated
Date - ​string in the format YYYYMMDD
tmax °C ​maximum air temperature, calculated
tmin °C ​minimum air temperature​, calculated
vprsd kPa ​​mean daily vapour pressure, calculated
wind km·d-1 ​​​​mean daily wind speed at 2 m, calculated
rain mm·d-1 sum of precipitation, calculated
srad MJ·m-2·d-1 total global radiation, calculated
rhumd_tn % ​relative humidity at tmin, calculated
rhumd_tx % ​relativ humidity at tmax, calculated
dewp °C ​dewpoint temperature, calculated
Additional info
Data are stored as comma-separated values (csv) in one file per grid cell containing values for the baseline and all scenarios. Gridcell IDs are composed of the column and row numbers (see image below). Download is possible for individual grid cells or tar-packages containing files for a range of column numbers (i.e. defining a longitudinal band). Please send to us name of your square name from Geolocation. One single package contains one csv file (see above - Structure of Data Table).
The dataset consist of 8.709 dowloadable packages. Each package contain one single csv file with name of row + name of column. See image below.
View Sample Data
Download data
Please send an email to Files can be downloaded for individual locations or tar-packages containing data for several grid cells. (subject DOI: 10.4228/ZALF.DK.59) listing the grid cell numbers for your locations or region of interest and we will provide available download option.

Download grid cells and coordinates This file was added on Dec 12, 2019.
Download missing data (grid cells and years with missing data in the JRC database) This file was added on Dec 12, 2019
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This data by ZALF is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution BY 4.0  cc_by