Atmospheric Sciences Editors' Highlights

New Global Surface Temperature Dataset Spans 170 Years

HadCRUT5, the new version of the Met Office Hadley Centre/Climatic Research Unit global surface temperature dataset from 1850 to 2018, has extended and improved the previous temperature record.

Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres


HadCRUT is one of the longest running global surface temperature analyses. Morice et al. [2021] discuss the latest version of this dataset, HadCRUT5, which covers the period 1850 to 2018, longer than previous versions. (Since publication of the paper it has been further updated to 2020.) It incorporates an improved sea-surface temperature dataset and uses a more sophisticated statistical technique to better represent sparsely observed regions of the globe.

HadCRUT5 comes with two variants intended for different applications. The first is temperature anomaly data on a grid for locations where measurement data are available. The second uses statistical methods to achieve more complete global coverage for improved global and regional temperature estimates. Each variant is a 200-member ensemble with uncertainty information. The resulting estimates of global and regional mean temperature are in close agreement with all other major analyses, increasing confidence in our observational record of temperature over the globe.

Citation: Morice, C. P., Kennedy, J. J., Rayner, N. A., Winn, J. P., Hogan, E., Killick, R. E., et al. [2021]. An updated assessment of near‐surface temperature change from 1850: the HadCRUT5 data set. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 126, e2019JD032361.

—Minghua Zhang, Editor-in-Chief, JGR: Atmospheres

9 March 2021: This article has been updated to correct the number in the headline and details in the text.

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