Climate Data

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 download from this site. However, links are provided to download locations under the "Data Access" section of each dataset page.

Climate datasets

Has expert guidance
Radiative kernels from climate models Radiative kernels from climate models
  • Years of record

The radiative kernel technique is a method used to quantify radiative feedbacks in response to global warming.  Radiative kernels are commonly calculated for the water vapor, lapse rate, temperature and albedo feedbacks.  Radiative kernels are used to…

Main variables and Earth System components

    • Timestep

    • Climatology
    • Collections

    • None
ICOADS Surface Marine Weather Observations ICOADS Surface Marine Weather Observations
  • Years of record

ICOADS (International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set) is the most comprehensive archive of global marine surface climate observations available. Variables include SST, SLP, air temperature, wind speed, cloud amount, and others. There is no processing…

Global Permafrost Zonation Index Map Global Permafrost Zonation Index Map
  • Years of record

This data set contains a global (excluding Antarctica) 1 km map of permafrost zonation. It is an estimate of to what degree permafrost exists in a region nearly everywhere, or only in the most favorable conditions. These local conditions affecting permafrost…

Main variables and Earth System components

Cryosphere Permafrost Land
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
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.  SOSE is a…

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
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
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/below…

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 include…

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean Sea Level
    • Timestep

    • Monthly
    • Collections

    • None
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 of…

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean Ocean Heat Content Sea Level Sub Surface Temperature
MODIS GPP/NPP Project (MOD17) MODIS GPP/NPP Project (MOD17)
  • Years of record

  • to

The goal of the MOD17 MODIS project is to provide continuous estimates of Gross/Net Primary Production (GPP/NPP) across Earth’s entire vegetated land surface. MOD17 GPP/NPP outputs are useful for natural resource and land management, global carbon cycle…

Main variables and Earth System components

Biosphere NPP: Net Primary Production
    • Timestep

    • Monthly, Weekly, Annual
    • Collections

    • None
  • 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
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
Tropical Moored Buoy System: TAO, TRITON, PIRATA, RAMA (TOGA) Tropical Moored Buoy System: TAO, TRITON, PIRATA, RAMA (TOGA)
  • Years of record

  • to

The Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere program (TOGA) is a component of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) aimed specifically at the prediction of climate phenomena on time scales of months to years. In order to achieve the TOGA goals, a strategy of…

    • Timestep

    • Sub-daily, Daily, Monthly, Weekly
    • Collections

    • None
  • 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 boundary…

NLDAS: North American Land Data Assimilation System NLDAS: North American Land Data Assimilation System
  • Years of record

  • to

The goal of the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) is to construct quality-controlled, and spatially and temporally consistent, land-surface model (LSM) datasets from the best available observations and model output to support modeling…

  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
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
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
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
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
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
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
Precipitation Reconstruction Land (PREC/L): 1948-present Precipitation Reconstruction Land (PREC/L): 1948-present
  • Years of record

  • to

Precipitation gauge measurements over land from the GHCN-v2 (Global Historical Climatology Network version 2) are interpolated onto 3 grids: at 0.5, 1 and 2.5 degree resolutions via optimal interpolation. Note: As of May, 2011 the GHCN version 3 station data…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Precipitation
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
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
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
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 (

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean SST - sea surface temperature
    • Timestep

    • Sub-daily, Daily
    • Collections

    • None
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
FLUXNET FLUXNET
  • Years of record

"FLUXNET is a global network of micrometeorological flux measurement sites that measure the exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. At present over 140 sites are operating on a long-term and continuous basis.…

Main variables and Earth System components

Biosphere Land
  • 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
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
Carbon Emissions from Historical Land-Use and Land-Use Change Carbon Emissions from Historical Land-Use and Land-Use Change
  • Years of record

  • to

Annual net land-atmosphere carbon flux and net flux of carbon to the atmosphere due to land-use and land-use change (LULUC) are estimated using an integrated assessment model and three historical reconstructions of land use and land use conversion. The data…

Main variables and Earth System components

Biosphere CO2 Land CO2 Land-Atmosphere flux Land Cover Type Land Use Conversion
    • Timestep

    • Annual
    • Collections

    • None
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
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
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
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
Combined CloudSat spaceborne radar and CALIPSO spaceborne lidar cloud fraction dataset Combined CloudSat spaceborne radar and CALIPSO spaceborne lidar cloud fraction dataset
  • 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
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
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
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
Climate Data Guide FLUXNET: MTE (Multi-Tree Ensemble)
  • Years of record

  • to

Global, spatially and temporally explicit estimates of carbon and water fluxes derived from empirical up-scaling eddy covariance measurements would constitute a new and possibly powerful data stream to study the variability of the global terrestrial carbon and…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Latent & sensible heat flux Land Gross Primary Production
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
Cross section of a tree trunk showing alternating light and dark layers of the tree rings. from ucar scied, https://scied.ucar.edu/learning-zone/how-climate-works/tree-rings-and-climate credit pixabay Tree-ring width chronologies: An overview of their use as climate proxies and of available databases
  • Years of record

The width of an annual tree ring is a very simple indicator of the character of that year’s weather, but collectively the global network of tree-ring width measurements represents an invaluable resource for high-resolution paleoclimatology.

Main variables and Earth System components

    • Formats

    • Timestep

    • Annual
    • Collections

    • None
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 and…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Multiple variables Cryosphere Sea Ice Concentration Ocean
    • Timestep

    • Sub-daily, Daily, Monthly
    • Collections

    • None
Ocean Productivity: Phytoplankton size estimates (satellite) Ocean Productivity: Phytoplankton size estimates (satellite)
  • Years of record

Estimates of ocean net primary production (NPP)  "At this time, Standard Products are based on the original description of the Vertically Generalized Production Model (VGPM) ( Behrenfeld & Falkowski 1997a), MODIS surface chlorophyll concentrations (Chlsat…

Main variables and Earth System components

Biosphere NPP: Net Primary Production
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • 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
Daymet: Daily Surface Weather and Climatological Summaries Daymet: Daily Surface Weather and Climatological Summaries
  • Years of record

  • to

Developed by Dr. Peter E Thornton to fulfill the need for daily climatological data necessary for plant growth model inputs, Daymet generates daily, gridded surfaces of temperature, precipitation, humidity, and radiation over large regions and takes into…

  • 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
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 ICOADS…

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
UNH/GRDC: Estimated River Runoff UNH/GRDC: Estimated River Runoff
  • Years of record

Combines observed river discharge information with a climate-driven Water Balance Model in order to develop composite runoff fields that are consistent with observed discharges. This combination preserves the accuracy of discharge measurements as well as the…

Main variables and Earth System components

Land Runoff and Streamflow
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
Water Vapor from NVAP Water Vapor from NVAP
  • Years of record

  • to

The NASA Water Vapor Project (NVAP) total column water vapor (aka, precipitable water) data sets comprise a combination of radiosonde observations, Television and Infrared Operational Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounders (TOVS), and Special Sensor…

Main variables and Earth System components

Atmosphere Water Vapor Precipitable water
  • Experts contributing reviews

  • None
HadIOD: Met Office-Hadley Centre Integrated Ocean Database HadIOD: Met Office-Hadley Centre Integrated Ocean Database
  • Years of record

  • to

HadIOD (Met Office Hadley Centre Integrated Ocean Database) is a global database of in situ ocean temperature and salinity observations, spanning 1850-present on a daily timestep. It is somewhat unique among temperature and salinity datasets in that it combines…

Main variables and Earth System components

Ocean SST - sea surface temperature Salinity Sub Surface Temperature
    • Timestep

    • Daily, Monthly
    • Collections

    • None