Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: a global inventory

Bronnimann, Stefan and Allan, Rob and Ashcroft, Linden and Baer, Saba and Barriendos, Mariano and Brazdil, Rudolf and Brugnara, Yuri and Brunet, Manola and Brunetti, Michele and Chimani, Barbara and Cornes, Richard and Dominguez-Castro, Fernando and Filipiak, Janusz and Founda, Dimitra and Garcia Herrera, Ricardo and Gergis, Joelle and Grab, Stefan and Hannak, Lisa and Huhtamaa, Heli and Jacobsen, Kim S. and Jones, Phil and Jourdain, Sylvie and Kiss, Andrea and Lin, Kuanhui Elaine and Lorrey, Andrew and Lundstad, Elin and Luterbacher, Jurg and Mauelshagen, Franz and Maugeri, Maurizio and Maughan, Nicolas and Moberg, Anders and Neukom, Raphael and Nicholson, Sharon and Noone, Simon and Nordli, Oyvind and Olafsdottir, Kristin Bjorg and Pearce, Petra and Pfister, Lucas and Pribyl, Kathleen and Przybylak, Rajmund and Pudmenzky, Christa and Rasol, Dubravka and Reichenbach, Delia and Reznickova, Ladislava and Rodrigo, Fernando S. and Rohr, Christian and Skrynyk, Oleg and Slonosky, Victoria and Thorne, Peter and Valente, Maria Antónia and Vaquero, Jose M. and Westcott, Nancy E. and Williamson, Fiona and Wyszynski, Przemysław (2019) Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: a global inventory. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. ISSN 0003-0007

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.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: 10 September 2019. Permanent restricted access to Publisher's online Accepted version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2019 23:23
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2020 03:16
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040107 Meteorology
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960203 Weather
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-19-00
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37217

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