Climate Data

The Climate Data Guide is a high-traffic expert knowledge portal providing concise and reliable information on the climate data that are essential for measuring and predicting physical climate risk.

Currently, the Climate Data Guide curates expert insights on over 200 observational datasets and climate indices, searchable or browseable in the list below.

To find a specific dataset or climate variable, jump to the the search box. For only the datasets paired with guidance written by experts, select the "Datasets with guidance" button when using the search box.

Data creators, data publishers, and scientists who use climate data are invited to join our Network of Experts by contributing commentaries on data strengths and limitations to the Climate Data Guide. What type of data are included? See this discussion.

With the exception of about 25 climate indices, the Climate Data Guide does not host datasets.  Data cannot be downloaded from this site. However, links are provided to download locations under the "Data Access" section of each dataset page.


Citation: Please link to this website in your work that draws upon material from this website, and cite this paper:

Schneider, D. P., C. Deser, J. Fasullo, and K. E. Trenberth, 2013: Climate Data Guide Spurs Discovery and Understanding. Eos Trans. AGU, 94, 121–122, https://doi.org/10.1002/2013eo130001

=> Additionally, each dataset page with expert-written guidance has its own citation example on the individual page, such that the experts who wrote the guidance may be credited. Finally, responsible use and citation of datasets is strongly encouraged.


Climate datasets

Has expert guidance
SST data: HadSST3 SST data: HadSST3
  • Years of record

  • to

HadSST3 provides monthly SST anomalies on a 5°x5° grid for 1850-present. The anomalies are derived from a 30-year climatology spanning 1961-90.Coverage is global but there is no interpolation; Thus, missing data occur in the final product. The primary input…

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean SST - sea surface temperature
Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE) Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE)
  • Years of record

  • to

The Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE) is a model-generated best fit to Southern Ocean observations.  As such, it provides a quantitatively useful climatology of the mean-state of the Southern Ocean.  Technically, SOSE is a solution to the MITgcm.…

NDVI and EVI: Vegetation Indices (MODIS) NDVI and EVI: Vegetation Indices (MODIS)
  • Years of record

  • to

MODIS vegetation indices, produced on 16-day and monthly intervals and at multiple spatial resolutions, provide consistent spatial and temporal comparisons of vegetation canopy greenness, a composite property of leaf area, chlorophyll and canopy structure. Two…

    • Timestep

    • Daily, Monthly, Weekly
    • Collections

    • None
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
CRU sc-PDSI (self-calibrating PDSI) over Europe & North America CRU sc-PDSI (self-calibrating PDSI) over Europe & North America
  • Years of record

  • to

Maps of the monthly self-calibrating Palmer drought severity index (SCPDSI) have been calculated for the period 1901–2002 for the contiguous United States (20°–50°N and 130°–60°W) and Europe (35°–70°N, 10°W–60°E) with a spatial resolution of 0.5° × 0.5…

Main variables and Earth System components

Land Drought
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI)
  • Years of record

  • to

The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) was first presented in 1995 as a framework for quantifying observed changes in climate within the contiguous United States. At present, the CEI evaluates the percent area of extremes in the distribution of much above/…

Cloud observations from MODIS Cloud observations from MODIS
  • Years of record

  • to

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is scanning instrument that makes measurements in 36 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared at spatial resolutions from 250 m to 1 km. There are MODIS instruments aboard two sun-…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Cloud Properties
AIRS (Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder): Version 6 Level 2 AIRS (Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder): Version 6 Level 2
  • Years of record

  • to

AIRS Version 6 Level 2 data represent a significant improvement over AIRS Version 5 Level 2 products in terms of greater stability, yield, and quality. Several algorithmic improvements have been made by the AIRS Project in conjunction with the AIRS Science…

  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
Merged Hadley-NOAA/OI Sea Surface Temperature &  Sea-Ice Concentration (Hurrell et al, 2008) Merged Hadley-NOAA/OI Sea Surface Temperature & Sea-Ice Concentration (Hurrell et al, 2008)
  • Years of record

  • to

The merged Hadley-OI sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice concentration (SIC) data sets were specifically developed as surface forcing data sets for AMIP style uncoupled simulations of the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM). The Hadley Centre's SST/SIC…

Main variables and Earth System components

Cryosphere Sea Ice Concentration Ocean SST - sea surface temperature
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
NSIDC Sea Ice Index NSIDC Sea Ice Index
  • Years of record

  • to

The NSIDC Sea Ice Index is a suite of easy-to-use sea ice analyses to track changes in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. The product is produced and supported by the NOAA at NSIDC group and consists of browse imagery and data text files (CSV or Excel format). The…

Main variables and Earth System components

Cryosphere Sea Ice Concentration
Ocean temperature analysis and heat content estimate from Institute of Atmospheric Physics Ocean temperature analysis and heat content estimate from Institute of Atmospheric Physics
  • Years of record

  • to

The Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) ocean temperature analysis features global coverage of the oceans, at 1° x1° horizontal resolution on 41 vertical levels from 1-2000m, and monthly resolution from 1940 to present.  As such, it is aimed at studies…

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean Ocean Heat Content Sea Level Sub Surface Temperature
FWI p95 in ERAI and CESM1-LE (contributed by Danielle Touma) Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI)
  • Years of record

Fire weather indices are used to quantify the meteorological conditions that can lead to fire ignition and spread. They are used to communicate fire danger levels to emergency and fire fighting management, as well as the public on short time scales, and also…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere
    • Formats

    • Timestep

    • Domain

    • Collections

    • None
MJO: Madden-Julian Oscillation Diagnostics MJO: Madden-Julian Oscillation Diagnostics
  • Years of record

"The Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) is the largest element of the intraseasonal (30–90 days) variability in the tropical atmosphere. It is a large-scale coupling between atmospheric circulation and tropical deep convection.[1][2] Rather than being a standing…

Main variables and Earth System components

    • Formats

    • Timestep

    • Domain

    • Collections

    • None
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
SST data: COBE: Centennial in situ Observation-Based Estimates SST data: COBE: Centennial in situ Observation-Based Estimates
  • Years of record

  • to

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…

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean SST - sea surface temperature
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
NAM spatial pattern Hurrell wintertime SLP-based Northern Annular Mode (NAM) Index
  • Years of record

  • to

The NAM (or Arctic Oscillation) is defined as the first EOF of NH (20°-90°N) winter SLP data. It explains 23% of the extended winter mean (December-March) variance, and it is clearly dominated by the NAO structure in the Atlantic sector. Although there are some…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Sea Level Pressure
World Ocean Atlas (WOA09) World Ocean Atlas (WOA09)
  • Years of record

World Ocean Atlas 2009 (WOA09) is a set of objectively analyzed (1 degree grid) climatological fields of in situ temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, Apparent Oxygen Utilization (AOU), percent oxygen saturation, phosphate, silicate, and nitrate at standard…

  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
Drought atlases from tree rings Drought atlases from tree rings
  • Years of record

  • to

Tree-ring drought atlases provide a paleoclimate analog to modern drought indices, most commonly the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI).  Produced on a regular lat-lon grid for regions such as North America, Europe, and Australia, these centuries-long…

Main variables and Earth System components

Land Drought
A team on a boat coring lakes in the Arctic (credit: Laura Larocca) An overview of paleoclimate information from high-resolution lake sediment records: Strengths, limitations and key databases
  • Years of record

Accumulated sediments at the bottom of lakes are invaluable archives of past climate and environmental change. These sediments contain a variety of physical, geochemical, and biological proxy indicators that can be used to gain a multi-faceted understanding of…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Air Temperature Precipitation Biosphere Pollen Land
Global Mean Sea Level from TOPEX & Jason Altimetry Global Mean Sea Level from TOPEX & Jason Altimetry
  • Years of record

  • to

The global mean sea level timeseries is an excellent, integrative indicator of climate change, providing a record independent of common metrics like global surface air temperature.  The major contributions to the observed sea level trend of 3.3 mm/year…

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean Sea Level
    • Timestep

    • Monthly
    • Collections

    • None
maps of SIF and GPP (contributed by Jingfeng Xiao and Xing Li) Global dataset of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (GOSIF)
  • Years of record

  • to

GOSIF is a global, gridded dataset of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF). SIF, an energy flux re-emitted by plants a few nanoseconds after light absorption, exhibits a strong linear relationship with gross primary production (GPP) at the ecosystem…

    • Formats

    • Timestep

    • Monthly, Weekly
    • Collections

    • None
Sea Ice Concentration data from HadISST Sea Ice Concentration data from HadISST
  • Years of record

  • to

Spanning 1871-present at monthly timesteps, HadISST provides the longest gridded sea ice data available for both the Arctic and Antarctic. It is a 1° x 1° spatially infilled data set that is It is intended as a consistent analyses for input into SST analyses or…

Main variables and Earth System components

Cryosphere Sea Ice Concentration Ocean
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
COREv2 Air-Sea Surface Fluxes COREv2 Air-Sea Surface Fluxes
  • Years of record

  • to

The Coordinated Ocean Research Experiments version 2  (COREv2) data set consists of a globally complete set of air-sea fluxes of momentum, heat and freshwater for 1948-2009 at monthly resolution.  This data set serves as a set of common atmospheric…

CERA-20C:  ECMWF's Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Reanalysis of the 20th Century CERA-20C: ECMWF's Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Reanalysis of the 20th Century
  • Years of record

  • to

The CERA-20C is a global, coupled reanalysis spanning 1901-2010 with a focus on low-frequency climate variability.  Similar to ERA-20C, the surface observations assimilated include surface pressures from the International Surface Pressure Databank v3.2.6…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Multiple variables Cryosphere Sea Ice Concentration Ocean
    • Timestep

    • Sub-daily, Daily, Monthly
    • Collections

    • None
X-ray image illustrating the annual density bands in corals.  (Image credit: USGS via Allison Lawman)) Coral geochemical records: An overview of their use as climate proxies and of available databases
  • Years of record

Coral records are one of the main types of high-resolution (annual to sub-annual) paleoclimate proxies, providing timeseries of environmental conditions reaching hundreds to thousands of years into the past in the tropics, the central driver of the global…

) Example of CloudSat and CALIPSO cloud mask along a single orbit. (contributed by Will Bertrand) Combined CloudSat spaceborne radar and CALIPSO spaceborne lidar cloud fraction dataset (3S-GEOPROF-COMB)
  • Years of record

  • to

A global (82S-82N) cloud fraction data set, providing a unique view of cloud vertical structure, has been developed based on the complimentary spaceborne remote sensing capabilities of the CloudSat radar and the CALISPSO lidar. The data set provides monthly…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Cloud Properties
Daily Arctic sea ice volume from PIOMAS for each year from January 1, 1979 to November 30, 2022 using shades of blue to red in sequential order for every line. The decadal averages are annotated on the right side. (contributed by Z. Labe) Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS)
  • Years of record

  • to

The Pan-Arctic Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) is a reanalysis data set that uses a coupled ice and ocean model to provide daily and monthly estimates of Arctic sea-ice thickness. The data is publicly available from January 1979 to in near-…

Main variables and Earth System components

Cryosphere Sea Ice Thickness Ocean
COSP: Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project (CFMIP) Observation Simulator Package COSP: Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project (CFMIP) Observation Simulator Package
  • Years of record

Cloud processes and feedbacks are recognized as the largest uncertainty in climate model projections of climate change. Progress in understanding the roles of clouds in climate change has in part been hampered by the lack of a consistent definition of clouds…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Cloud Properties
CLARA-A1: Cloud properties, surface albedo and surface radiation products based on AVHRR CLARA-A1: Cloud properties, surface albedo and surface radiation products based on AVHRR
  • Years of record

  • to

"CLARA-A1 (CLoud, Albedo and RAdiation dataset, AVHRR-based, version 1) is a global dataset of cloud properties, surface albedo and surface radiation products, generated by the EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CM SAF). The products…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Cloud Properties Liquid Water Path Radiation Surface albedo
Southern Hemisphere westerly jet strength and position Southern Hemisphere westerly jet strength and position
  • Years of record

  • to

The dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere westerly jet are described in terms of two indices, jet strength and jet latitude.  Here, these indices are defined using the ERA-Interim reanalysis, although other datasets, including climate models, could be used.…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Wind
CALIPSO CALIPSO
  • Years of record

  • to

CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations ) was launched on April 28, 2006 to study the impact of clouds and aerosols on the Earth's radiation budget and climate. It flies in formation with five other satellites in the…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Aerosols Cloud Properties
    • Timestep

    • Sub-daily, Daily
    • Collections

    • None
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
Arctic System Reanalysis (ASR) Arctic System Reanalysis (ASR)
  • Years of record

  • to

The Arctic System Reanalysis is a multi-agency, university-led retrospective analysis (reanalysis) of the Greater Arctic. ASR is produced using high-resolution versions of the Polar Weather Forecast Model (PWRF) and the WRF-VAR and High Resolution Land Data…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Cryosphere Land Soil Moisture
    • Timestep

    • Sub-daily, Monthly
    • Collections

    • None
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
HadEX2: Gridded Temperature and Precipitation Climate Extremes Indices (CLIMDEX data) HadEX2: Gridded Temperature and Precipitation Climate Extremes Indices (CLIMDEX data)
  • Years of record

  • to

HadEX2 provides gridded, station-based indices of temperature- and precipitation- related climate extremes. It is intended for climate change detection and attribution studies and climate model evaluation. Twenty-nine indices, including daily maximum and…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Maximum Air Temperature Minimum Air Temperature Land Freeze/Thaw
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
Snow Cover Extent (Northern Hemisphere) Climate Data Record, by Rutgers Snow Cover Extent (Northern Hemisphere) Climate Data Record, by Rutgers
  • Years of record

  • to

The Snow Cover Extent Climate Data Record extends from the late 1960s to present. Historical analyses based on visual inspection have been digitized and combined with modern multi-spectral remote sensing to produce a seamless record on a hemispheric scale. The…

Main variables and Earth System components

Cryosphere Snow Cover Land
Climate Data Records: Overview Climate Data Records: Overview
  • Years of record

As defined by a US National Research Council committee, a Climate Data Record (CDR) is "a time series of measurements of sufficient length, consistency and continuity to determine climate variability and change." In the US, agencies such as NASA and NOAA have…

Main variables and Earth System components

  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
Surface Solar Radiation Data Set - Heliosat (SARAH) -Edition 1 Surface Solar Radiation Data Set - Heliosat (SARAH) -Edition 1
  • Years of record

  • to

"The Surface Solar Radiation Data Set - Heliosat (SARAH) is a satellite-based climatology of the solar surface irradiance (SIS), the surface direct normalized irradiance (DNI) and the effective cloud albedo (CAL) derived from satellite observations of the…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Cloud albedo
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
Simplistic Overview of Reanalysis Data Assimilation Methods Simplistic Overview of Reanalysis Data Assimilation Methods
  • Years of record

Data assimilation is the process of combining observations from a wide variety of sources and forecast output from a weather prediction model. The resulting analysis is considered to be the 'best' estimate of the state of the atmosphere at a particular instant…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere
    • Formats

    • Timestep

    • Domain

    • Collections

    • None
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
HOAPS: Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data HOAPS: Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data
  • Years of record

  • to

The Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data (HOAPS) set is a satellite-based climatology of precipitation, evaporation and freshwater budget (evaporation minus precipitation) as well as related turbulent heat fluxes and atmospheric…

  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
contribution from each of the different evaporation components in GLEAM for 1980-2022 (contributed by A Koppa and D Miralles) Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM)
  • Years of record

  • to

The Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM) is a satellite remote sensing-based set of algorithms dedicated to the estimation of evaporation and soil moisture at global scales (Miralles et al. 2011). The current version of GLEAM (version 3) operates at…

Main variables and Earth System components

Biosphere land evaporation Land evapotranspiration Soil Moisture
    • Formats

    • Timestep

    • Daily
    • Collections

    • None
GHRSST: Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature GHRSST: Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature
  • Years of record

  • to

The Group for High-Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (SST; GHRSST) provides a new generation of global high-resolution (10km) SST products to the operational oceanographic, meteorological, climate and general scientific community. The products are provided at…

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean SST - sea surface temperature
    • Timestep

    • Sub-daily, Daily
    • Collections

    • None
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
Figure 2: Map of the locations for all available IGRA v2.2 stations. Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA)
  • Years of record

  • to

The largest publicly available collection of quality-controlled, globally-distributed, historical radiosonde and pilot balloon observations is the Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA; Durre et al. 2006, 2018). First released in 2004, IGRA is maintained…

    • Timestep

    • Sub-daily
    • Collections

    • None
CloudSat CloudSat
  • Years of record

  • to

CloudSat is a satellite mission designed to measure the vertical structure of clouds from space. The radar data produces detailed images of cloud structures. CloudSat is one of a constellation of satellites known as the A-Train (Cloudsat, CALIPSO, PARASOL,…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Cloud Properties
    • Timestep

    • Monthly
    • Collections

    • None
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
Surface Flux and Meteorological Dataset: National Oceanography Centre (NOC) V2.0 Surface Flux and Meteorological Dataset: National Oceanography Centre (NOC) V2.0
  • Years of record

  • to

The National Oceanography Centre  (NOC) Version 2.0 Surface Flux and Meteorological Dataset is a monthly mean gridded dataset of marine surface measurements and derived fluxes constructed using optimal interpolation. Input for the period 1973 to 2006 are…

Permafrost: Circum-Arctic Map of Permafrost and Ground Ice Conditions Permafrost: Circum-Arctic Map of Permafrost and Ground Ice Conditions
  • Years of record

The circumpolar permafrost and ground ice data contribute to a unified international data set that depicts the distribution and properties of permafrost and ground ice in the Northern Hemisphere (20°N to 90°N). The re-gridded data set shows discontinuous,…

Main variables and Earth System components

Cryosphere Permafrost Land
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
NCEP NARR NCEP NARR
  • Years of record

  • to

A high resolution (32km x 29 pressure levels) data set focused upon the North American Region. Relative to the NCEP-DOE (R2) it has a much improved land-hydrology, diurnal cycle and land-atmosphere interaction. As such, it can be considered a second generation…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Air Temperature Geopotential Height Precipitable water Land
    • Timestep

    • Climatology, Sub-daily, Monthly
    • Collections

    • None
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
SST (AMSR-E): Sea Surface Temperature from  Remote Sensing Systems SST (AMSR-E): Sea Surface Temperature from Remote Sensing Systems
  • Years of record

  • to

High resolution (0.25°) SSTs were derived from the AMSR-E, a passive microwave radiometer flying on NASA's AQUA satellite. Remote Sensing Systems distributes the data in high spatial and temporal (daily, weekly, monthly) resolutions for both daytime and…

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean SST - sea surface temperature
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
UK Met Office; contributed by Colin Raymond HadISD: Sub-daily, non-interpolated weather station data
  • Years of record

  • to

HadISD ("Hadley Centre Integrated Surface Database") is a compendium of subdaily weather-station data developed by the UK Met Office that is based on NOAA NCEI's Integrated Surface Database but with various quality-control checks implemented to remove stations…

    • Timestep

    • Sub-daily
    • Collections

    • None
Sea Ice Concentration: NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record Sea Ice Concentration: NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record
  • Years of record

  • to

The NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record (CDR) of sea ice concentration is available at 25 x 25 km spatial resolution in daily or monthly timesteps for 1987-2014. It provides a consistent interpretation of sea ice for the satellite record, with the intent of being…

Main variables and Earth System components

Cryosphere Sea Ice Concentration Ocean
GHCN (Global Historical Climatology Network) Related Gridded Products GHCN (Global Historical Climatology Network) Related Gridded Products
  • Years of record

  • to

Long time series of gridded surface temperature and precipitation data derived from homongenized station data. The gridded anomalies were produced from GHCN-M bias corrected data. GHCN data and CAMS (Climate Anomaly Monitoring System) are combined to produce a…

Main variables and Earth System components

  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
NOAA ThreadEx Long-term Station Extremes for America NOAA ThreadEx Long-term Station Extremes for America
  • Years of record

  • to

ThreadEx is a data set of extreme daily temperature and precipitation values for 270 locations in the United States. For each day of the year at each station, ThreadEx provides the top 3 record high and low daily maximum temperatures, the top 3 record high and…

  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
GLODAP: GLobal Ocean Data Analysis Project for Carbon GLODAP: GLobal Ocean Data Analysis Project for Carbon
  • Years of record

The GLobal Ocean Data Analysis Project (GLODAP) is a cooperative effort to coordinate global synthesis projects funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Science Foundation (…

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean CO2: CarbonDioxide
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
ERA-Interim: derived components ERA-Interim: derived components
  • Years of record

  • to

Era-Interim data are used to derive monthly mass, moisture and energy budget products. Each term is available. Atmospheric energy, mass, and moisture budgets can be computed by vertically integrating reanalysis fields and employing suitable corrections (e.g.…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Budget Evaporation-Precipitation
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None