Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2

Project Overview

The Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2) provides data beginning in 1980. It was introduced to replace the original MERRA dataset because of the advances made in the assimilation system that enable assimilation of modern hyperspectral radiance and microwave observations, along with GPS-Radio Occultation datasets. It also uses NASA ozone observations after 2005. Additional advances in both the GEOS-5 model and the GSI assimilation system are included in MERRA-2. Spatial resolution remains about the same (about 50 km in the latitudinal direction) as in MERRA.

Along with the enhancements in the meteorological assimilation, MERRA-2 takes some significant steps towards GMAO’s target of an Earth System reanalysis. MERRA-2 is the first long-term global reanalysis to assimilate space-based observations of aerosols and represent their interactions with other physical processes in the climate system. MERRA-2 includes a representation of ice sheets over (say) Greenland and Antarctica.