Baltic and North Seas Climatology (hydrographical Part)

BSH / DWD / ICDC cooperation


RESTRICTED only accessable in CEN/MPI net or via CliSAP login  What does that mean?

Data access via file system: /data/icdc/ocean/bnsc/



9.5.2019: We publish a new version 1.1 after correcting errors in v1.0, details about the differences between these versions can be found in this document.

15.6.2018: All netCDF files but the interpolated decadal fields has been corrected and replaced the old version.

This is version 1.1 of the hydrographic part of the “Baltic and North Seas Climatology (BNSC)”. The parameters provided here are water temperature and salinity on 105 depth levels. The data product comprises the time period from 1873-2015 and is based on more than one million observational profiles, which were obtained from several different data sources in the region of the Baltic, the North Sea and adjacent areas of the North Atlantic Ocean (15°W-30°E, 47°N-66°N). Intersection of observational data from different data sources is avoided and the in situ data were objected to an elaborate automatic quality control to identify erroneous observations that would bias the data product. Additionally, a correction of the temporal sampling error was applied to minimize the impact of the temporal distribution of the observations on the created temporal mean fields.

The data product consists of gridded mean fields of water temperature and salinity. The spatial resolution is 0.25° in meridional and zonal direction. The depth levels are irregularly distributed: for the depth interval from 0 to 50m the distance between the single depth levels is 5m. Below 50m, the distance increases progressively by 1m to the last depth level of 4985m. The dimensions of the data product are 180*76*105 (longitude, latitude, depth). The BNSC climatology consists, on the one hand, of time series of monthly and annual mean values of the hydrographic parameters as fields of box averages. Grid boxes that show no observations are left empty. Based on these time series, decadal monthly mean fields are created for the decades 1956-1965, 1966-1975, 1976-1985, 1986-1995, 1996-2005, 2006-2015 as another part of the data product. Again, gaps remain in observational data-void regions.

The third part of the data product results from above mentioned decadal mean fields: horizontally interpolated fields by application of the method of objective analysis. Consequently, this subset does not contain gaps.

Available parameters:

  • box averages: monthly and annual mean, resp. standard deviation, number of observations
  • decadal box averages: decadal monthly mean, resp. standard deviation, mean year, standard deviation to mean year, number of years
  • decadal interpolated mean: interpolated monthly mean, absolute median deviation, number of bins, first guess, relative interpolation error, mean year, mean distance

You can find the meteorological part of the BNSC here.

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Name Unit
Temperature °C
Salinity -

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Coverage, temporal and spatial resolution

Time period and temporal resolution:

  • 1873 until 2015
  • monthly, yearly, decadal

Coverage and spatial resolution:

  • Geographic Latitude: 47°N to 66°N
  • Geographic Longitude: 15°W to 30°E
  • Altitude: 105 depth levels


  • netCDF

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Data quality

see description


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Iris Hinrichs
CEN / University of Hamburg
email: iris.hinrichs (at) uni-hamburg.de

Viktor Gouretski
ICDC / CEN / University of Hamburg
email: viktor.gouretski (at) uni-hamburg.de

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Hinrichs, Iris & Jahnke-Bornemann, Annika & Andersson, Axel & Ganske, Anette & Gouretski, Viktor & Jensen, Corinna & Klein, Birgit & Möller, Jens & Sadikni, Remon & Tinz, Birger. (2019). The Baltic and North Seas Climatology (BNSC)—A Comprehensive, Observation-Based Data Product of Atmospheric and Hydrographic Parameters. Frontiers in Earth Science. 7. 10.3389/feart.2019.00158.

Hinrichs, Iris; Gouretski, Viktor (2019). Baltic and North Seas Climatology hydrographic part (Version 1.1). World Data Center for Climate (WDCC) at DKRZ. https://doi.org/10.26050/WDCC/BNSClimHydrov1.1

Bersch, Manfred; Gouretski, Viktor; Sadikni, Remon; Hinrichs, Iris; (2013): KLIWAS North Sea Climatology of Hydrographic Data (Version 1.0); World Data Center for Climate (WDCC). doi:10.1594/WDCC/KNSC_hyd_v1.0

Documentation: Differences between v1.0 and v1.1

Data citation

Hinrichs, Iris; Gouretski, Viktor (2018). Baltic and North Seas Climatology hydrographic part (Version 1.0). World Data Center for Climate (WDCC) at DKRZ. https://doi.org/10.1594/WDCC/BNSClim_hydro_v1.0

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