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Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: a global inventory

Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: a global inventory
Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: a global inventory
A global inventory of early instrumental meteorological measurements is compiled. It comprises thousands of series, many of which have not been digitized, pointing to the potential of weather data rescue.

Instrumental meteorological measurements from periods prior to the start of national weather services are designated “early instrumental data”. They have played an important role in climate research as they allow daily-to-decadal variability and changes of temperature, pressure, and precipitation, including extremes, to be addressed. Early instrumental data can also help place 21st century climatic changes into a historical context such as to define pre-industrial climate and its variability. Until recently, the focus was on long, high-quality series, while the large number of shorter series (which together also cover long periods) received little to no attention. The shift in climate and climate impact research from mean climate characteristics towards weather variability and extremes, as well as the success of historical reanalyses which make use of short series, generates a need for locating and exploring further early instrumental measurements. However, information on early instrumental series has never been electronically compiled on a global scale. Here we attempt a worldwide compilation of metadata on early instrumental meteorological records prior to 1850 (1890 for Africa and the Arctic). Our global inventory comprises information on several thousand records, about half of which have not yet been digitized (not even as monthly means), and only approximately 20% of which have made it to global repositories. The inventory will help to prioritize data rescue efforts and can be used to analyze the potential feasibility of historical weather data products. The inventory will be maintained as a living document and is a first, critical, step towards the systematic rescue and re-evaluation of these highly valuable early records. Additions to the inventory are welcomed.
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Brönnimann, Stefan
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Baer, Saba
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Grab, Stefan
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Hannak, Lisa
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Vaquero, José M.
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Westcottt, Nancy E.
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Brönnimann, Stefan, Allan, Rob, Ashcroft, Linden, Baer, Saba, Barriendos, Mariano, Brázdil, Rudolf, Brugnara, Yuri, Brunet, Manola, Brunetti, Michele, Chimani, Barbara, Cornes, Richard, Domínguez-castro, Fernando, Filipiak, Janusz, Founda, Dimitra, Herrera, Ricardo García, Gergis, Joelle, Grab, Stefan, Hannak, Lisa, Huhtamaa, Heli, Jacobsen, Kim S., Jones, Phil, Jourdain, Sylvie, Kiss, Andrea, Lin, Kuanhui Elaine, Lorrey, Andrew, Lundstad, Elin, Luterbacher, Jürg, Mauelshagen, Franz, Maugeri, Maurizio, Maughan, Nicolas, Moberg, Anders, Neukom, Raphael, Nicholson, Sharon, Noone, Simon, Nordli, Øyvind, Ólafsdóttir, Kristín Björg, Pearce, Petra R., Pfister, Lucas, Pribyl, Kathleen, Przybylak, Rajmund, Pudmenzky, Christa, Rasol, Dubravka, Reichenbach, Delia, Řezníčková, Ladislava, Rodrigo, Fernando S., Rohr, Christian, Skrynyk, Oleg, Slonosky, Victoria, Thorne, Peter, Valente, Maria Antónia, Vaquero, José M., Westcottt, Nancy E., Williamson, Fiona and Wyszyński, Przemysław (2019) Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: a global inventory. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. (doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0040.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A global inventory of early instrumental meteorological measurements is compiled. It comprises thousands of series, many of which have not been digitized, pointing to the potential of weather data rescue.

Instrumental meteorological measurements from periods prior to the start of national weather services are designated “early instrumental data”. They have played an important role in climate research as they allow daily-to-decadal variability and changes of temperature, pressure, and precipitation, including extremes, to be addressed. Early instrumental data can also help place 21st century climatic changes into a historical context such as to define pre-industrial climate and its variability. Until recently, the focus was on long, high-quality series, while the large number of shorter series (which together also cover long periods) received little to no attention. The shift in climate and climate impact research from mean climate characteristics towards weather variability and extremes, as well as the success of historical reanalyses which make use of short series, generates a need for locating and exploring further early instrumental measurements. However, information on early instrumental series has never been electronically compiled on a global scale. Here we attempt a worldwide compilation of metadata on early instrumental meteorological records prior to 1850 (1890 for Africa and the Arctic). Our global inventory comprises information on several thousand records, about half of which have not yet been digitized (not even as monthly means), and only approximately 20% of which have made it to global repositories. The inventory will help to prioritize data rescue efforts and can be used to analyze the potential feasibility of historical weather data products. The inventory will be maintained as a living document and is a first, critical, step towards the systematic rescue and re-evaluation of these highly valuable early records. Additions to the inventory are welcomed.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 10 September 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435118
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435118
ISSN: 0003-0007
PURE UUID: 59268f89-a687-43c9-9410-0d29f5fec984

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Date deposited: 23 Oct 2019 16:30
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 05:41

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Contributors

Author: Stefan Brönnimann
Author: Rob Allan
Author: Linden Ashcroft
Author: Saba Baer
Author: Mariano Barriendos
Author: Rudolf Brázdil
Author: Yuri Brugnara
Author: Manola Brunet
Author: Michele Brunetti
Author: Barbara Chimani
Author: Richard Cornes
Author: Fernando Domínguez-castro
Author: Janusz Filipiak
Author: Dimitra Founda
Author: Ricardo García Herrera
Author: Joelle Gergis
Author: Stefan Grab
Author: Lisa Hannak
Author: Heli Huhtamaa
Author: Kim S. Jacobsen
Author: Phil Jones
Author: Sylvie Jourdain
Author: Andrea Kiss
Author: Kuanhui Elaine Lin
Author: Andrew Lorrey
Author: Elin Lundstad
Author: Jürg Luterbacher
Author: Franz Mauelshagen
Author: Maurizio Maugeri
Author: Nicolas Maughan
Author: Anders Moberg
Author: Raphael Neukom
Author: Sharon Nicholson
Author: Simon Noone
Author: Øyvind Nordli
Author: Kristín Björg Ólafsdóttir
Author: Petra R. Pearce
Author: Lucas Pfister
Author: Kathleen Pribyl
Author: Rajmund Przybylak
Author: Christa Pudmenzky
Author: Dubravka Rasol
Author: Delia Reichenbach
Author: Ladislava Řezníčková
Author: Fernando S. Rodrigo
Author: Christian Rohr
Author: Oleg Skrynyk
Author: Victoria Slonosky
Author: Peter Thorne
Author: Maria Antónia Valente
Author: José M. Vaquero
Author: Nancy E. Westcottt
Author: Fiona Williamson
Author: Przemysław Wyszyński

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