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Dataset development

Visualisation of December 2009 air temperature data, displayed as anomalies relative to the 1961 to 1990 averages.

We create datasets and analyses of physical atmospheric and oceanic variables to understand and monitor global climate variability and change.

Observations for a particular climate variable, such as sea surface temperature, are collected from many different observing systems;, quality checked and brought together to obtain the best possible description of the climate.

Changes in observing systems can have large effects on climate records; we adjust for these changes by removing relative biases between different types of observations, and work internationally for maintenance and improvement of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

Observations are mapped and analysed, and uncertainties in the data are estimated. The resulting datasets are used in many applications, both inside the Met Office and externally.

Our data are peer reviewed and freely available to download for those engaged in non-commercial activities, from the HadObs website.

Key aims

  • Development of observational datasets, covering the ocean, land and atmosphere.

  • Quality control and removal of biases from observational data.

  • Make data available to others and support their use.

Current activities

Our datasets and projects include:

  • Ocean surface temperature (also known as SST): HadSST3, HadISST1, HadDTR.

  • Air temperature over the ocean (also known as marine air temperature): MOHMAT/HadMAT.

  • Sub-surface ocean temperature and salinity: EN4, HadGOA.

  • Sea-ice cover: HadISST1.

  • Sub-daily station data: HadISD
  • Surface temperature data: HadCRUT4, HadCET.

  • Surface humidity: HadCRUH, HadISDH Homepage.

  • Upper air temperature and humidity: HadTH, HadIR.

  • Infrared radiances: HadIR.

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