Temperature anomalies from 1961-1990, for a 5° by 5° grid. These data sets are from the Climate Research Unit website. Over land regions of the world over 3000 monthly station temperature time series are used. Coverage is denser over the more populated parts of the world, particularly, the United States, southern Canada, Europe and Japan. Coverage is sparsest over the interior of the South American and African continents and over the Antarctic. The number of available stations was small during the 1850s, but increases to over 3000 stations during the 1951-90 period. For marine regions sea surface temperature (SST) measurements taken on board merchant and some naval vessels are used. As the majority come from the voluntary observing fleet, coverage is reduced away from the main shipping lanes and is minimal over the Southern Oceans. Maps/tables giving the density of coverage through time are given for land regions by Jones and Moberg (2003) and for the oceans by Rayner et al. (2003). Both these sources also extensively discuss the issue of consistency and homogeneity of the measurements through time and the steps that have made to ensure all non-climatic inhomogeneities have been removed.

Spatial Coverage:

  • Global

Temporal Coverage:

  • 1961-1990

Scientific Research/Reference:

  • Christy, J.R., Parker, D.E., Stendel. M. and Norris, W.B., 2001: Differential trends in tropical sea surface temperature and atmospheric temperatures since 1979. Geophysical Research Letters 28, 183-186.

  • Folland, C.K., Rayner, N.A., Brown, S.J., Smith, T.M., Shen, S.S.P., Parker, D.E., Macadam, I., Jones, P.D., Jones, R.N., Nicholls, N. and Sexton, D.M.H., 2001a: Global temperature change and its uncertainties since 1861. Geophysical Research Letters 28, 2621-2624.
  • Folland, C.K., Karl, T.R., Christy, J.R., Clarke, R.A., Gruza, G.V., Jouzel, J., Mann, M.E., Oerlemans, J., Salinger, M.J. and Wang, S.-W., 2001b: Observed Climate Variability and Change. pp. 99-181 In: Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Houghton, J.T., Ding, Y., Griggs, D.J., Noguer, M., van der Linden, P.J., Dai, X., Maskell, K. and Johnson, C.A. Eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 881pp.
  • Jones, P.D., Osborn, T.J. and Briffa, K.R., 1997: Estimating sampling errors in large-scale temperature averages. J. Climate 10, 2548-2568.
  • Jones, P.D., New, M., Parker, D.E., Martin, S. and Rigor, I.G., 1999: Surface air temperature and its variations over the last 150 years. Reviews of Geophysics 37, 173-199.
  • Jones, P.D., Osborn, T.J., Briffa, K.R., Folland, C.K., Horton, B., Alexander, L.V., Parker, D.E. and Rayner, N.A., 2001: Adjusting for sampling density in grid-box land and ocean surface temperature time series. J. Geophys. Res. 106, 3371-3380.
  • Jones, P.D. and Moberg, A., 2003: Hemispheric and large-scale surface air temperature variations: An extensive revision and an update to 2001. J. Climate 16, 206-223.
  • Rayner, N.A., Parker, D.E., Horton, E.B., Folland, C.K., Alexander, L.V, Rowell, D.P., Kaplan, A. and Kent, E.C., 2003: Globally complete analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice and night marine air temperature, 1871-2000. J. Geophys. Res. (in press).

Data Sets:

  • Crutem2: land air temperature anomalies, 5° by 5° grid
  • Crutem2:land air temperature anomalies, adjusted for variance (Details of adjustment in Jones et. al. 2001)
  • HadCrut2: combined land and marine temperature anomalies, 5° by 5° grid
  • (For details see Rayner et. al. 2003)
  • HadCrut2: HadCrut2 adjusted for variance
  • Data is in netCDF format.

These data sets are produced by Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. They are also updated monthly at the above site.