Global surface temperatures: BEST: Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures (BEST) are a set of data products, originally a gridded reconstruction of land surface air temperature records spanning 1701-present, and now including an 1850-present merged land-ocean data set that combines the land analysis with an interpolated version of HadSST3. The land station data are available in an archive, and an experimental version provides daily data for 1860-present. The Berkeley Earth project was intended to provide an alternative, independent assessment of global temperature change, separate from the analyses of the USA's NOAA and NASA, and the UK's CRU/Hadley Centre. In contrast to other data sets incorporating records from roughly 5000-7000 land stations, the Berkeley data set incorporates approximately 37,000 records. This is in part due to the use of additional data bases beyond GHCN, and in part to the methodology, which allows short, fragmented timeseries to be incorporated into the statistical model. 

Key Strengths:

  • Large number of stations used
  • Long temporal length

Key Limitations:

  • Anomaly fields are highly smoothed due to Kriging procedure, despite being gridded at 1x1 degree

Years of Record

1701/01 to 2013/03
temporal metadataID:



Climatology | Daily | Monthly

Data Time Period Extended?

yes, data set is extended


Spatial Resolution

1x1 degree or equal-area grid | .25 degree available for USA and Europe

Ocean or Land


Missing Data Flag

missing data present

Vertical Levels

Input Data

combination of 14 databases of station data; ~37,000 individual records used;; merged land-ocean version uses HadSST3

Data Access: Please Cite data sources, following the data providers' instructions.

Key Figures

Click the thumbnails to view larger sizes



Cite this page

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 29 Oct 2015. "The Climate Data Guide: Global surface temperatures: BEST: Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures." 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.