Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions  over the Earth
Citizen Science Data Repositories

Historical Weather Data Repositories

There   is   a   large   number   of   regional   and   national   databanks   of   observational   climate   data.   Several global   initiatives   are   in   place   to   consolidate   the   databanks   to   allow   comprehensive,   one-stop   access by   climate   researchers.      However,   many   of   the   databanks   cover   only   the   computer-based   record, which   started   in   the   late-middle   20th   century.      ACRE’s   interests   are   focussed   on   a   deeper   historical perspective,   taking   in   the   paper-based   records   that   preceded   the   computer   era.      Five   sources   of   data which offer the temporal spread suited to ACRE’s data rescue are outlined below. The International Surface Pressure Databank   ( ISPD )   The   ISPD   is   the   world's   largest   collection   of   atmospheric   pressure   observations,   stretching   from   1722 to   near-current   (data   in   early   years   is   sparse).   It   has   been   developed   by   extracting   observations   from numerous    sources    including    established    international    archives    of    meteorological    variables    and combining these with observations rescued and recorded by ACRE partners. The   ISPD   consists   of   three   components:   station   observations,   marine   observations,   and   tropical cyclone   best   track   pressure   reports.   The   station   component   merges   more   than   40   national   and international collections and numerous contributions made by ACRE partners.  The ISPD is assembled under the auspices of: Working Group on Surface Pressure of the Global Climate Observing System - GCOS) Working Group on Observational Data Sets for Reanalysis of   the   Earth   System   Research   Laboratory,   NOAA's   National   Climatic   Data   Center   (NCDC)   and the   University   of   Colorado's   Cooperative   Institute   for   Research   in   Environmental   Sciences (CIRES). ACRE - many of the paper-based digitised observations have come from ACRE partners. Examples   include   UK   Met   Office   data   covering   global   observations   for   an   extensive   period and    the    South    Australian    Weather    Folios    Project’s    contribution    of    350,000    observations covering the SW Pacific for 1879-1905. Version 4 of the ISPD has the following content: Stations:                                               39,085 Year-files:                                            616,572 Sea level press observations:   1,301,543,547 Surface pressure observations:   912,145,218 Version 5 of the ISPD covering 1755-2010 is currently being assembled Reanalysis    –   the   ISPD   observational   data   are   used   as   input   to   a   reanalysis   which   also   incorporates data   from   ICOADS   and   IBTrACS   (see   below).      Products   of   these   reanalyses   are   available   to   the scientific community. Over   60   organisations    have   contributed   to   the   existence   of   the   ISPD,   many   of   them   as   Partners   and Chapters of the ACRE Project

International Comprehensive Ocean Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS)

ICOADS  

is  

the  

largest  

collection  

of  

verified  

surface  

marine  

observations  

in  

the  

world  

covering  

1662

(data  

in  

early  

years  

are  

sparse)  

to  

near-present.  

The  

observations  

include  

sea  

surface  

and  

air

temperatures,  

wind,  

pressure,  

humidity,  

and  

cloudiness.  

Observational  

data  

originated  

mainly  

from

digitised  

ships’  

logbooks  

but  

in  

later  

years,  

included  

readings  

taken  

by  

moored  

and  

drifting  

buoys  

and

other  

automated  

platforms.  

Established  

international  

databases  

contributed  

the  

majority  

of  

readings

but  

current  

updates  

to  

ICOADS  

are  

flowing  

principally  

from  

ACRE  

and  

its  

partners.  

In  

late  

2011,

ICOADS was de-funded and remains in suspension.

ICOADS is assembled under the auspices of:

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) National Science Foundation WORLD Data Centre for Meteorology U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) ACRE-   OldWeather   has   contributed   some   1.6   million   marine   surface   weather   observations and   along   with   the   Weather   Detective   Project   out   of Australia   is   in   the   process   of   contributing another 1.5 million entries covering the mid-late 19th Century.

Enhanced   

Data   

Set   

–   

ICOADS   

does   

not   

undertake   

its   

own   

reanalysis   

but   

it   

does   

provide   

an

interpolated   

data   

set   

where   

observed   

data   

are   

synthesized   

to   

products   

by   

computing   

statistical

summaries,  

on  

a  

monthly  

basis,  

for  

samples  

within  

2°  

latitude  

×  

2°  

longitude  

and  

1°  

×  

1°  

boxes

beginning in 1800 and 1960. (link to Reanalysis page of website)

International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS)

IBTrACS  

provides  

tropical  

cyclone  

best  

track  

data  

in  

a  

centralized  

location  

to  

aid  

the  

understanding  

of

the  

distribution,  

frequency,  

and  

intensity  

of  

tropical  

cyclones  

worldwide.  

It  

combines  

information  

from

numerous  

tropical  

cyclone  

datasets  

to  

present  

the  

most  

complete  

available  

global  

set  

of  

historical

tropical cyclones from 1842 to current.

The IBTrACS  is assembled under the auspices of:

National Climate Data Centre

of the Global Climate Observing System - GCOS)

Working Group on Observational Data Sets for Reanalysis

of  

the  

Earth  

System  

Research  

Laboratory,  

NOAA's  

National  

Climatic  

Data  

Center  

(NCDC)  

and

the  

University  

of  

Colorado's  

Cooperative  

Institute  

for  

Research  

in  

Environmental  

Sciences

(CIRES).

ACRE   -   Partner   data   will   enrich   IBTrACS   central   pressure   and   wind   observations   for   storms that occurred prior to the 1940, particularly for the Indian Ocean and South China Sea regions.

Meteorological Archival and Retrieval System (MARS)

The Meteorological Archival and Retrieval System (MARS) is the main repository of meteorological

data at ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts). It contains petabytes of

operational and research data, as well as data from Special Projects.  It includes forecasts, analyses,

climate re-analyses, reforecasts and multi-model data reaching back to 1990.

National Centres for Environmental Information

GHCN-M

The Global Historical Climatology Network-Monthly (GHCN-M) temperature dataset includes the

removal of inhomogeneities associated with non-climatic influences such as changes in

instrumentation, station environment, and observing practices that occur over time. Version 3 is the

latest dataset for operational climate monitoring activities. It has a temporal spreead of 1950 to recent.

GHCN-D

The Global Historical Climatology Network - Daily (GHCN-Daily) dataset integrates daily climate

observations from approximately 30 different data sources. Version 3 contains station-based

measurements from well over 90,000 land-based stations worldwide, about two thirds of which are for

precipitation measurement only. Other meteorological elements include, but are not limited to, daily

maximum and minimum temperature, temperature at the time of observation, snowfall and snow

depth. It has a temporal spreead of 1880 to recent.

ISD

The Integrated Surface Database (ISD) consists of global hourly and synoptic observations compiled

from numerous sources into a single common ASCII format and common data model. ISD integrates

data from over 100 original data sources, including numerous data formats that were key-entered from

paper forms during the 1950s–1970s time frame. The database includes over 35,000 stations

worldwide, some extending to 1901.  ISD includes numerous parameters such as wind speed and

direction, wind gust, temperature, dew point, cloud data, sea level pressure, altimeter setting, station

pressure, present weather, visibility, precipitation amounts for various time periods, snow depth, and

various other elements as observed by each station.

“Two databanks offer the deep temporal spread of interest to ACRE…”
“ICOADS data originated mainly from digitised ships’ logbooks…”
“A global set of historical tropical cyclones from 1842 to current…”