NOAA updates its global surface temperature data set

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NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) is updating its current global climate data set to provide more information about the Earth’s climate, while also extending the planet’s observed temperature record by 30 years.

The update to NCEI’s current NOAA global temperature data set — one of the most visible and widely used data sets to assess global climate — made its debut in the January 2023 Global Climate Report, released on February 14, 2023. This new global climate data set will expand upon and replace the current one that has been used since 2019.

Deke Arndt, NCEI director, said, “This new version of NOAA’s global surface temperature data set is part of NCEI’s commitment to provide a complete and comprehensive perspective of the Earth’s climate. Regular updates to our data sets help us expand our understanding of our dynamic planet.”

There are two major additions in this update:

  • More data for the Arctic region are included, as well as new scientific methods for monitoring climate in other locations with limited climate data.
  • Using improved methodology to analyze NCEI’s archival land and ocean observations, 30 more years will be added to the world’s current climate record, which will now extend to 1850.

NOAA’s global temperature data sets consist of data from weather stations across the world’s land surface, as well as ocean surface data from ships, buoys, surface drifters, profiling floats and other uncrewed automatic systems. Until recently, however, monitoring environmental conditions around the Arctic and Antarctic has been more challenging due to fewer temperature observations in these regions.

The updated version now includes data from more buoys from around the Arctic, along with enhanced methods of calculating temperatures in the Earth’s polar regions.

The new version of the global temperature data set shows similar warming trends in the Earth’s climate compared to the previous version, indicating that short-and long-term climate trends remain consistent across data sets.

This new information comes at a critical time in the Earth’s climate history. The Arctic is the fastest-warming region in the world, warming at least three times faster than any other region. The top 10 warmest years on record for the world have all occurred after 2010. The last nine years (2014–2022) have been the warmest on record.

To view the January 2023 Global Climate Report, click here.

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, editor-in-chief

Dan first joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As editor, he now produces content for Meteorological Technology International, unearthing the latest technological advances and research methods for the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest meteorological news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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