Results for surface temperature - global and regional
Climate monitoring is the process of observing and understanding the atmosphere and other components of the Earth System (such as the oceans), for example monitoring global climate indicators such as a temperature changes and rainfall patterns.
These observations are used across the world in monitoring and modelling the climate, as well as in studies of the causes of climate change.
Accurate records - Comprehensive monitoring allows us to produce accurate long-term records of what is happening to the climate.
Past, present, future - Comparing past and present climate and the changes which have taken place over thousands of years, means we can get a better picture of what affects the climate and how it might change in the future
The Met Office Hadley Centre monitors a wide range of climate variables and indices, such as surface temperatures and sea-ice.
One of the flagship datasets the Met Office, in association with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, is the surface temperature dataset is Met Office-CRU (also known as HadCRUT3). Some Met Office datasets are freely available for academic and personal use (terms and conditions apply).
Independent analysis of these data are produced monthly in the US by the Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS) at NASA and the National Climate Data Center (NCDC) at NOAA.
Further information and other data are available from www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs
Met Office scientists have compared the three datasets. The long-term trends and large-scale patterns of temperature are similar, but the three analyses do not agree on all the details. These differences arise from slight differences in source data and the different choices made by the three centres in processing the data.
Global average temperature is the base measurement of how our climate is changing. It is the only dataset for which we have records going back to the 1850s, so is our flagship dataset.
In order to keep up-to-date with what is happening to global temperatures we use a running 12-month mean rather than a calendar year.
The data show:
The full record of surface temperatures for land and sea.
Regional temperature can vary widely, with some regions colder than average even when the global temperature is warmer than average.
For more information on the current state of the climate see Evidence - the state of the climate (PDF, 1 MB) .