Reconstructed global monthly land air temperature dataset (1880-2017) Public Deposited

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  • Land surface air temperature is an essential climate variable for understanding rapid global environmental changes. Sparse network coverage prior to the 1950s is a significant source of uncertainty in global climate change evaluations. Recognizing the importance of spatial coverage, more stations are continually being added to global climate networks. A challenge is how to best use the information introduced by the new station observations to enhance our understanding and assessment of global climate states and changes, particularly for times prior to the mid‐20th century. In this study, Data INterpolating Empirical Orthogonal Functions (DINEOF) were used to reconstruct mean monthly air temperatures from the Global Historical Climatology Network‐monthly (GHCNm version 4) over the land surface from 1880 through 2017. The final reconstructed air temperature dataset covers about 95% of the global land surface area, improving the spatial coverage by ~80% during 1880–1900 and by 10%–20% since the 1950s. Validation tests show that the mean absolute error of the reconstructed data is less than 0.82°C. Comparison with the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate model output shows that the reconstructed dataset substantially reduces the bias in global datasets caused by sparse station coverage, particularly before the 1950s.
Date Issued
  • 2019-10-21
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  • Geoscience Data Journal
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Last Modified
  • 2020-01-06
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  • 10.1002/gdj3.84