Antarctic Seasonal Pressure Reconstructions 1905-2013

This dataset consists of seasonally resolved timeseries of surface pressure at 18 Antarctic research stations, spanning 1905-2013.  Routine meteorological observations began at most of these stations only around 1960, leaving a very short instrumental record on which to assess Antarctic climate variability and change.  Surface pressure is one of the most important variables for assessing changes in climate; for example, a drop in surface pressure since ~1980 around Antarctica likely reflects the influence of the ozone hole.  The pre-1960 data were reconstructed based on statistical relationships between the original Antarctic station records and much-longer, mid-latitude station records.  A variety of tests were performed to assess the robustness of these relationships and to characterize uncertainty in the reconstructions.

Key Strengths:

  • Approximately doubles the length of the original Antarctic station records
  • Uses well-established statistical methods and validation tests

Key Limitations:

  • Reconstruction skill is not consistent across all stations and all seasons (DJF is best season and Antarctic Peninsula best region)
  • Linear method assumes stationarity in predictor-predictand relationships

Years of Record

1905/01 to 2013/12
temporal metadataID:




Data Time Period Extended?

no, data set not being extended


Ocean or Land

Land Only

Missing Data Flag

missing data present

Vertical Levels

Input Data

station data from SCAR-READER, GHCN, CRU, ISPD

Earth system components and main variables

Suggested Data Citation

Fogt, R. L., C. A. Goergens, M. E. Jones, G. A. Witte, M. Y. Lee, and J. M. Jones, 2016: Antarctic station-based pressure reconstructions since 1905: 1. Reconstruction evaluation. J. Geophysical Res.-Atmospheres21, 2814-2835, doi:10.1002/2015JD024564

Key Figures

Click the thumbnails to view larger sizes



(contributed by R Fogt) Map indicating the stations with reconstucted pressure records (contributed by R Fogt)
Timeseries of December-January-February (DJF) surface pressure, averged across 5 of the reconsturcted station records for the "Full" period reconstruction (Figure: D. Schneider, NCAR)

Cite this page

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 10 Jun 2016. "The Climate Data Guide: Antarctic Seasonal Pressure Reconstructions 1905-2013." Retrieved from

Acknowledgement of any material taken from this page is appreciated. On behalf of experts who have contributed data, advice, and/or figures, please cite their work as well.