Climate Data

SST data: COBE: Centennial in situ Observation-Based Estimates

The COBE data set is a spatially complete, interpolated 1°x1° SST product for 1891 to present. It combines SSTs from ICOADS release 2.0, the Japanese Kobe collection, and reports from ships and buoys. Data are gridded using optimal interpolation. As in HadISST, data up to 1941 were bias-adjusted using the "bucket correction." Prior to the interpolation analyses, data were also subject to quality control using a-priori thresholds, and nearby observations were combined. COBE data have been used in the JRA Reanalyses and for AMIP experiments.

Key Strengths:

  • Kobe collection improves data coverage compared to earlier releases of ICOADS that were used in other gridded reconstructions (ICOADS 2.5 includes Kobe)

Key Limitations:

  • Compared to modern benchmarks (e.g. HadSST3), the bias adjustments and uncertainty estimates are somewhat primitive

Years of Record

1891/01 to 2022/05
temporal metadataID:




Data Time Period Extended?

yes, data set is extended


Spatial Resolution


Ocean or Land

Ocean Only

Missing Data Flag

spatially complete

Vertical Levels

Input Data

ICOADS, Kobe Collection, buoys, GTS

Earth system components and main variables

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 12 Jun 2022. "The Climate Data Guide: SST data: COBE: Centennial in situ Observation-Based Estimates." 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.