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New profile: global temperature datasets

  • 11 Mar 2011, 14:08
  • The Carbon Brief

There are four principal global temperature datasets. Three use surface temperature measurements taken at land and sea, and record a clear warming trend over the past century. One is collected by the Met Office Hadley Centre jointly with the Climatic Research Unit (HadCRU) in the United Kingdom. Two datasets are collected by organisations in the United States: the NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) and NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

The final dataset uses satellites to measure the troposphere - the lower part of the Earth's Atmosphere. It is collected by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), started in 1978, and also records a clear warming trend.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) of the United Nations uses the datasets kept by GISS, NCDC and HadCRU to calculate a single world average. These datasets are also quoted in the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

Read more about global temperature datasets in our full profile.

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