CHELSA – Free climate data at high resolution

CHELSA (Climatologies at high resolution for the earth’s land surface areas) is a high resolution (30 arc sec) climate data set for the earth land surface areas currently hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL.

It includes temperature and precipitation patterns for various time periods.
CHELSA is based on a quasi-mechanistical statistical downscaling global reanalysis and global circulation model output and is freely available  in the download section.


The data is described in this peer reviewed article:

Karger, D.N., Conrad, O., Böhner, J., Kawohl, T., Kreft, H., Soria-Auza, R.W., Zimmermann, N.E., Linder, H.P. & Kessler, M. (2017) Climatologies at high resolution for the earth’s land surface areas. Scientific Data 4, 170122.


CHELSA Specifications

  • High resolution (30 arcsec, ~1 km)
  • Precipitation & Temperature
  • Incorporation of topoclimate (e.g. orographic rainfall & wind fields)
  • Downscaled ERA-interim model
  • Allows calculation of derived parameters based on monthly values such as length of dry periods etc.


Current version

Version 1.2 online