Climate Data Service

UPDATE: I’ve already received some feedback, so before long I’ll be offering more options — e.g., choose csv or tab-delimited files. As I say, the service will evolve based on subscriber feedback.

Also, to let folks know, the first release will include over 500 time series at monthly resolution and a smattering of daily data. More will be added as time progresses and requests accumulate, and won’t necessarily be limited to time series data.


UPDATE 2:

To the many who have subscribed already, thank you.

You’ll receive your first installment tomorrow (Apr. 12). As with everything new, there are bound to be some rough edges. Improvement will depend on subscriber feedback, so don’t be shy.

Of particular note is the format (by which I mean, how data are split into files and in what order they appear). All decisions are up to the management (me), but believe me when I say that your opinions count. Together, we can make this better and better.


We love climate data. We love to see it for ourselves, plot it in new ways, just go exploring for what we can find. Fortunately, a great deal of it is freely available on the internet.


But — it’s not always so easy to work with. Everybody’s data file is in a different format. Some are easy to use and import to various programs, but some are a royal pain. And, there are some things we always want to do — like transforming data to anomaly values — which we then have to do ourselves. We may want to compare different data sources, which can require loading multiple files, formatting them, computing anomalies, aligning the data sources. And we have to go through the whole thing again when new data are released. Winnie the Pooh would describe it as a “bother.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if the major sources of climate data were retrieved for you on a regular basis? If different sources were combined into a small number of files, properly time-aligned? If anomalies were already computed where appropriate? If they were delivered in a friendly form — as csv files?

I’ve decided to offer a new service, a climate data subscription service. All the data are available online, what this service does is make them easy as pie to play with, and deliver them to your inbox twice a month. If you subscribe by April 30th, the fee is only $25 for a 1-year subscription, which works out to a mere $2.08 per month. That will get you data files twice a month for twelve months … at which time you can renew your subscription if you wish.

Data will come in “csv” format — the most friendly, accessible to almost all computer programs, and will include:

  • Global and Hemispheric temperature from the major sources, including NASA GISS, NOAA/NCEI, HadCRU, RSS, and UAH
  • CO2 concentration from Mauna Loa
  • Multivariate el Niño Index MEI
  • Sea Level from the University of Colorado
  • Sea ice extent and area, both monthly and daily
  • Snow cover
  • U.S. State-by-State temperature, precipitation, and drought severity
  • Central England Temperature (mean, max, and min), both monthly and daily
  • Sunspot counts

    Data will be released on the 7th and 21st of each month, except this month’s initial release will be on the 12th (this upcoming Tuesday).

    This is just the beginning; service will grow as time passes, and of course subscribers are encouraged to request additions. Furthermore, other services will be made available to subscribers. I intend that as the year progresses, it will expand to cover the needs — and wants — of people everywhere who are interested in climate. As a subscriber, you’ll have a voice in how it evolves.

    To enroll, step 1: donate $25 at Peaseblossom’s Closet; step 2: post a comment here (which I will not make public) including your e-mail address, so I know where to send it.

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  • 7 responses to “Climate Data Service

    1. scottdenning

      Three questions: (1) when you say data will be “released” on the 7th and 21st of each month, does this mean you will be updating the existing files, or posting new data products?’ (2) Will there be a way to link to the data in a consistent way, for example in R by using a persistent URL for each product? and (3) May I use these data products to build my own classroom exercises and assign student homework (with proper multilayered attribution, of course)?

      [Response: (1) It means I’ll be updating existing files, although new products may be added as well, depending on subscriber requests.

      (2) Data files will be delivered to your inbox.

      (3) Using them for classroom exercises seems like one of the more virtuous applications.

      Note that because this is a new service, things may change. I want it to be genuinely useful, so I intend to adapt to users’ requests (within reason). The only thing that’s “carved in stone” is that the data will be in a friendly, consistent format, and easy to use.]

    2. On a slightly related note – have you any idea what might have just happened to the Cryosphere Today data? Their interactive Arctic Sea Ice chart has just shown an unprecedented leap in area – from 12.504 million sq. km on day 98, to 13.118 on day 99.
      http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/arctic.sea.ice.interactive.html
      and some of their charts for individual seas show this sudden leap – eg Barents Sea
      http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.6.html
      and Greenland Sea
      http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.5.html
      This would mean day 99 is now the maximum for this year.

      Sea extent at NSIDC shows an uptick, but not as extreme:
      http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

      Could there have been some instrument adjustmemts?

    3. Barney
      Faulty sensors being replaced. Hat tip to Wipneus for the following:

      OSI-SAF are making the switch, latest service message:

      o Message :
      Due to the previously reported problems with one of the channels on SSMIS onboard DMSP F17, OSI SAF is now working on replacing DMSP F17 with DMSP F18 in our sea ice products.

      Currently, the switch to F18 has been implemented for the ice concentration product (OSI-401). The product dated 20160410 has been reprocessed and is available on our FTP server, ftp://osisaf.met.no/prod/ice/conc/ and
      ftp://osisaf.met.no/archive/ice/conc/2016/04

      The ice edge and type products (OSI-402 and OSI-403) will be updated to use F18 tomorrow, 2016-04-12.

      The ice emissivity product (OSI-404) has been temporary turned off.
      Production will be upgraded to F18, with expected implementation 19th
      April.

      The LR ice drift product (OSI-405) does not use the channel with
      calibration problems, but is affected to some extent since it uses the ice
      edge product to define areas with ice. This product will be back to nominal
      as soon as the ice edge product is updated.

      o Comments or Extra information :
      We are sorry for the inconvenience these problems might have caused. We
      will report on the quality of the products with the new sensor as soon as
      more data are available.
      More information on http://www.osi-saf.org

    4. the title tells the story. in these times of “expertism” we need more thinkers with the big picture in mind. keep goin’