Online open-Data Observational Datasets

Nowadays there are many observed datasets and interpolated grids that can be downloaded freely for research purposes. Here, we show some of them to make the search easier for the user. In this page we do not give a detailed description, we just describe, briefly, the available data and provide the links to the original sources. Some of these datasets have been already ported to MeteoLab format (marked with *), and are available online and/or under request.

  • (*) GSN: The GCOS Surface Network ( GSN) is the world's largest collection of daily climatological data and provides information for maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation and snow in over one thousand of stations distributed across all continents. The GSN_World MeteoLab dataset includes daily information of the above variables for the period 1960-2006 (note that this dataset is not up-to-date). However, most of the stations contain missing data. The following figure shows the amount of missing data (percentage) for precipitation and temperature (in columns) and for two different temporal periods (in rows); only stations with less than 50% of missing data are shown. GSN_World stations quality

=> Download the dataset:  GSN_World

  • (*)  ECA&D: The European Climate Assessment & Data Set is a project of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute ( KNMI) that collects observations from other institutions in Europe and northern Africa to construct a reference dataset of atmospheric variables. This center also developed a web portal to explore and analyze meteorological time series ( Climate Explorer). In this project two datasets have been developed: blended or not blended series. The former contains the raw observed series and the latter includes a process to fill the missing data creating longer temporal series. This dataset is daily and the available variables are:
    • Cloud cover.
    • Humidity.
    • Precipitation amount.
    • Mean surface air pressure.
    • Snow depth.
    • Sunshine duration.
    • Mean, maximum and minimum temperature.
  •  British Atmospheric Data Center (BADC): Besides a huge variety of other atmospheric datasets, the BADC holds the  MetOffice MIDAS dataset; this is a global station network for a series of variables in sparse regions like Africa. As the BADC holds reanalysis and GCM-datasets, it is worth visiting if you are looking for predictor data.

Global grids:

  •  GPCP: The Global Precipitation Climatology Project is directed by the Laboratory for Atmospheres NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and includes worldwide monthly and daily precipitation products :
    • Global Monthly Merged Precipitation Analyses of GPCP ( 1979-present).
    • Global Daily Merged Precipitation Analyses of the GPCP (1997-present).
  •  GPCC: The Global Precipitation Climatology Centre provides global monthly precipitation for monitoring and research. These data are available from 1950 to present at two resolutions, 1º and 0.5º. This centre is a German contribution to the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).
  •  VASClimO: Variability Analysis of Surface Climate Observations. It was a joint climate research project of the German Weather Service (Global Precipitation Climatology Centre - GPCC) and the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt. This is a new 50-year precipitation dataset (1951-2000), which has been a contribution to the IPCC WG I Fourth Assessment Report (2007).
  •  GHCN (Precipitation) Global and Historical Climatology Network. Monthly gridded precipitation anomalies. These anomalies are estimated respect to the climatology of the reference period 1961-1990. The temporal coverage of the grid is 1900-present and its resolution is of 5º in latitude and longitude.
  •  GHCN (Temperature) Global and Historical Climatology Network. Monthly gridded mean temperature anomalies. These anomalies are estimated respect to the climatology of the reference period 1971-2000. The temporal coverage of the grid is 1880-present and its resolution is of 5º in latitude and longitude.

Continental grids:

  • (+)  E-OBS: Daily grid for precipitation and temperature over Europe, developed in the ENSEMBLES project with two resolutions (0.25º and 0.5º). The density of stations is not uniform in space with sparse data in some countries (like Spain). Nowadays, this dataset is the reference to study the present climate in Europe.
  • (*in progress)  Daily Precipitation Grids for South America (SA19): Daily precipitation grids for South America with two resolutions (1º and 2.5º). Very inhomogeneous spatial coverage.
  • (*in progress)  APHRODITE's Water Resources: Daily precipitation gridded datasets with high-resolution for Asia (0.25º and 0.5º).
  • (+)  FEWS-NET/MFEWS/AFN: Gridded estimates of accumulated precipitation for Africa are prepared at the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a part of the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET). Daily data are available from 1998 to present at a resolution of 0.1º. Decadal data and other products are also available.
  •  NOAA CPC ESRL: Daily precipitation grid for the United States with 0.25º resolution (1948-1998).
  • (*)  JRC: Joint Research Center. Daily grid over Europe and Northern Africa of 50 km resolution. The available variables are:
    • Precipitation.
    • Maximum and minimum temperature.
    • Wind speed.
    • Vapour pressure.
    • Penman potential evaporation from a free water surface.
    • Penman potential evaporation from a moist bare soil surface.
    • Penman potential transpiration from a crop canopy.
    • Snow depth.
    • Global radiation.
  •  Spain02 ...

Snow cover and extent:

  •  NSDIC: The Northern Hemisphere EASE-Grid Weekly Snow Cover and Sea Ice Extent Version 3 product combines snow cover and sea ice extent at weekly intervals from 23 October 1978 through 5 June 2005, and snow cover alone from 3 October 1966 through 23 October 1978. (Sea ice data were not available prior to 23 October 1978.) The data set is the first representation of combined snow and sea ice measurements derived from satellite observations for the period of record. Designed for facilitating the study of Northern Hemisphere seasonal fluctuations of snow cover and sea ice extent, this data set also includes monthly climatologies describing average extent, probability of occurrence, and variance. Data are provided in the Northern Hemisphere 25 km equal-area grid (NSIDC Nl EASE-Grid).

Tools & Others:

  •  GCMD: The Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) is a web that includes earth science data and services. Here the user can find data of quite different variables related to the earth science (agriculture, land surface, atmosphere, oceans, etc).
  •  GEWEX: The project Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment bring together some national and international centers and it is a good reference to search interesting links or information about these centers.
  •  UK Met Office: The United Kingdom Meteorological Office. In this center two regional and global grids of meteorological variables were developed. The  former is a monthly high resolution grid (5 km in longitude and latitude) over the United Kingdom for 28 meteorological variables and the  latter is a daily extreme temperatures grid over the globe with a resolution of 2.5º in latitude and 3.75º in longitude.
  •  CISL Research Data Archive: The CISL Research Data Archive (RDA) contains a large and diverse collection of meteorological and oceanographic observations, operational and reanalysis model outputs, and remote sensing datasets to support atmospheric and geosciences research, along with ancillary datasets, such as topography/bathymetry, vegetation, and land use. Much of the RDA data are accessible from this link, and the remaining data can be staged for users access through a personalized data request.
  •  Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean: A leader in the environmental sciences, the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean is a Cooperative Institute between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Washington that fosters collaborative research on a broad range of global and regional topics of concern and interest to the public. JISAO's mission, educational and research goals are closely aligned with those of NOAA and UW.
  •  IWMI: International Water Management Institute. This center and the CRU worked together in the development of the World Water & Climate Atlas.
  •  Alpine Precipitation Observations: This is a high resolution observational network over the Alps. In the website the user can find others links to the data set or analysis and studies done with them.
  •  ESEOO: Establecimiento de un Sistema Español de Oceanografía Operacional. This website shows predictions of temperature, salinity and sea stream for the Cantabrian Sea (north of Spain). The products of Teseo model (Transport Model of ESEOO) are used to predict the position of stains spill by the Don Pedro. The Teseo is a model which integrates atmosphere and ocean data to generate a drift prediction (waves and streams). This prediction together with a spill degradation model provides predictions of the stain situation.
  •  SILO Data Drill: The Data Drill accesses grids of data interpolated from point observations by the Bureau of Meteorology. Interpolations are calculated by splining and kriging techniques. The data in the Data Drill are all synthetics; there are no original meteorological station data left in the calculated grid fields. For original meteorological data, users could use other SILO data or contact the climate section of any of the Bureau of Meteorology's regional offices. However, the Data Drill does have the advantage of being available for anywhere in Australia. The Data Drill is delivered as an email service provided by the Queensland Department of Environmant and Resource Management (DERM). The Data Drill provides popular meteorological variables that are useful for agrometeorological research and modelling, the surfaces are interpolated to .05 degrees spatial resolution (around 5km). To access the Data Drill, users must define a point in Australia to an accuracy of 3 minutes, a start and end year (the same if you only want one year of data), the required format for users' meteorological variables, and an email address for the return of the results. There is a 10 character tag, that users can specify, that will be added to line 1 of a GRASP file. (More than 8 characters would mean that the datafile would not work with existing copies of GRASP).
  •  TRMM
  •  GCOS: The Global Observing Systems Information Center (GOSIC) provides access to data, metadata and information from GCOS and partner observing systems. This page provides an overview of all GCOS-relevant network components and systems, separated by domains.
  •  OSTIA: Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis. The OSTIA system produces a high resolution analysis of the current sea surface temperature (SST) for the global ocean.
  •  GHRSST: Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature. The GHRSST-PP RDAC and GDAC teams have implemented ftp access to most data sets. The following servers are available although some require registration.
  •  IRI/LDEO: The IRI/LDEO Climate Data Library contains over 300 datasets from a variety of earth science disciplines and climate-related topics.