Climatic Research Unit : Data

High-resolution gridded datasets (and derived products)

This page contains four sections:

  • Current Datasets and Static Climatologies
  • Legacy Datasets
  • Superseded Datasets
  • General Information

  • Current Datasets and Static Climatologies

    Always read the relevant documentation and publications

    CRU TS v. 3.22

    Link to data at BADC (due 09/2014)

    Temporary Dropbox Link

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released 4 July 2014, covers the period 1901-2013

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, tmx, tmn, dtr, vap, cld, wet, frs, pet
    Reference: Harris et al. (2014) doi:10.1002/joc.3711 (click to access)

    CRU CY v. 3.22

    Link to data at BADC (due 09/2014)

    Temporary Dropbox Link

    A dataset of country means derived from CRU TS
    This version, released 4 July 2014, covers the period 1901-2013

    Coverage: Countries (definitions due for revision in 2015)
    Variables: pre, tmp, tmx, tmn, dtr, vap, cld, wet, frs, pet
    Reference to source dataset: Harris et al. (2014) doi:10.1002/joc.3711 (click to access)

    CRU CL v. 1.0

    Link to data (at IPCC-DDC)

    A gridded climatology of 1961-1990 monthly means
    This version was released in 1999, and is used in the construction of CRU TS

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, wet, tmp, dtr, vap, spc, cld, frs, wnd
    Reference: New et al. (1999) doi (click to access)

    CRU CL v. 2.0

    Link to data

    A gridded climatology of 1961-1990 monthly means
    This version was released in 2002

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 10' resolution
    Variables: pre, wet, tmp, dtr, rhm, ssh, frs, wnd
    Reference: New et al. (2002) doi (click to access)

    CRU CL v. 2.1

    Available on request

    A gridded climatology of 1961-1990 monthly means
    This version was released in 2003

    Coverage: European land areas at 10' resolution
    Variables: cld, vap
    Reference: Michell et al. (2003) Tyndall WP 55 (click to access)


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    Legacy Datasets (not maintained or updated)

    Always read the relevant documentation and publications

    CRU TS v 1.2

    Link to data

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released in 2003, covers the period 1901-2000

    Coverage: European land areas at 10' resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, dtr, vap, cld
    Reference: Mitchell et al. (2003) Tyndall WP 55 (click to access)

    TYN SC v. 1.0

    Withdrawn but available here

    A gridded dataset of future scenarios
    This version, released in 2003, covers the period 2001-2100

    Coverage: European land areas at 10' resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, dtr, vap, cld
    Reference: Mitchell et al. (2003) Tyndall WP 55 (click to access)

    TYN SC v. 2.0

    Withdrawn but available here

    A gridded dataset of future scenarios
    This version, released in 2003, covers the period 2001-2100

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, dtr, vap, cld
    Reference: Mitchell et al. (2003) Tyndall WP 55 (click to access)

    Notes The 'TYN SC' scenarios of possible future climate change are no longer recommended for use, because they are based on older generation climate models and no support is provided.
    The data are still available for the purposes of replicating previously published work that may have used these data.
    For scenarios based on newer generations of climate models, see ClimGen.

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    Superseded Datasets

    Always read the relevant documentation and publications

    CRU TS v. 1.0

    Superseded by current version of CRU TS

    Available on request

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released in 2000, covers the period 1901-1995

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, dtr, wet, vap, cld, frs
    Reference: New et al. (2000) doi (click to access)

    CRU TS v. 1.1

    Superseded by current version of CRU TS

    Available on request

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released in 2000, covers the period 1901-1998

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp
    Reference: New et al. (2000; updated) doi (click to access)

    CRU TS v. 2.0

    Superseded by current version of CRU TS

    Withdrawn but available here

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released in 2003, covers the period 1901-2000

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, dtr, vap, cld
    Reference: Mitchell et al. (2003) Tyndall WP 55 (click to access)

    CRU TS v. 2.10

    Superseded by current version of CRU TS

    Withdrawn but available here

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released in 2005, covers the period 1901-2002

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, tmx, tmn, dtr, vap, cld, wet, frs
    Reference: Mitchell and Jones (2005) doi (click to access)

    CRU TS v. 3.00

    Superseded by current version of CRU TS

    Withdrawn but available here (BADC)

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released in 2006, covers the period 1901-2005

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, tmx, tmn, dtr, vap, cld, wet, frs
    Reference: Harris et al. (2014) doi:10.1002/joc.3711 (click to access)

    CRU TS v. 3.10

    Superseded by current version of CRU TS

    Withdrawn but available here (BADC)

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released in 2010, covers the period 1901-2009

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, tmx, tmn, dtr, vap, cld, wet, frs, pet
    Reference: Harris et al. (2014) doi:10.1002/joc.3711 (click to access)

    CRU TS v. 3.10.01

    Superseded by current version of CRU TS

    Withdrawn but available here (BADC)

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released in 2010, corrects a bug in v. 3.10 precipitation

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre
    Reference: Harris et al. (2014) doi:10.1002/joc.3711 (click to access)

    CRU TS v. 3.20

    Superseded by current version of CRU TS

    Withdrawn but available here (BADC)

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released in 2012, covers the period 1901-2011

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, tmx, tmn, dtr, vap, cld, wet, frs, pet
    Reference: Harris et al. (2014) doi:10.1002/joc.3711 (click to access)

    CRU TS v. 3.21

    Superseded by current version of CRU TS

    Withdrawn but available here (BADC)

    A gridded time-series dataset
    This version, released in 2013, covers the period 1901-2012

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, tmx, tmn, dtr, vap, cld, wet, frs, pet
    Reference: Harris et al. (2014) doi:10.1002/joc.3711 (click to access)

    TYN CY v. 1.0

    Superseded by current version of CRU CY

    Withdrawn but available here

    A dataset of country means derived from CRU TS
    This version, released in 2000, covers the period 1901-1998

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, dtr, wet, vap, cld, frs
    Reference: Mitchell et al. (2002) pdf of paper (click to access)

    TYN CY v. 1.1

    Superseded by current version of CRU CY

    Withdrawn but available here

    A dataset of country means derived from CRU TS
    This version, released in 2002, covers the period 1901-2000

    Coverage: All land areas (excluding Antarctica) at 0.5° resolution
    Variables: pre, tmp, tmx, tmn, dtr, wet, vap, cld, frs
    Reference: Mitchell et al. (2002) pdf of paper (click to access)

    CRU CY v. 3.21

    Superseded by current version

    Withdrawn but available here (BADC)

    A dataset of country means derived from CRU TS
    This version, released in 2013, covers the period 1901-2012

    Coverage: Countries (definitions due for revision in 2015)
    Variables: pre, tmp, tmx, tmn, dtr, vap, cld, wet, frs, pet
    Reference to source dataset: Harris et al. (2014) doi:10.1002/joc.3711 (click to access)


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    General Information

    Availability / Conditions of use / References / Data Formats / Variables / Coverage / Naming Conventions


    Availability

    Some data is available from the CRU website. However, most recent data (CRU TS, CRU CY) is distributed via the BADC. DropBox may be used in extraordinary circumstances to allow timely access to new releases.

    Where the status is marked as 'available on request', please email cru@uea.ac.uk, stating which dataset(s) you require and the area of research you intend to use them in. Please do not request those datasets marked as 'superseded', unless you are certain that you require them.



    Conditions of use

    The various datasets on the CRU website are provided for all to use, provided the sources are acknowledged. Acknowledgement should preferably be by citing one or more of the papers referenced. The website can also be acknowledged if deemed necessary.



    References: Please always reference the listed papers when using these datasets.
    • Harris, I., Jones, P.D., Osborn, T.J. and Lister, D.H. (2014), Updated high-resolution grids of monthly climatic observations - the CRU TS3.10 Dataset. International Journal of Climatology 34, 623-642
      doi:10.1002/joc.3711 (click doi to access paper)

    • Mitchell, T.D. and Jones, P.D., 2005: An improved method of constructing a database of monthly climate observations and associated high-resolution grids. International Journal of Climatology 25, 693-712
      doi:10.1002/joc.1181 (click doi to access paper)

    • Mitchell, T.D., Hulme, M. and New, M., 2002: Climate data for political areas. Area 34, 109-112
      WHOLE PAPER AS PDF

    • Mitchell, T. D., et al, 2003: A comprehensive set of climate scenarios for Europe and the globe. Tyndall Centre Working Paper 55.
      ABSTRACT AND WHOLE PAPER

    • New, M., Hulme, M. and Jones, P.D., 1999: Representing twentieth century space-time climate variability. Part 1: development of a 1961-90 mean monthly terrestrial climatology. Journal of Climate 12, 829-856
      doi:10.1175/1520-0442(1999)012<0829:RTCSTC>2.0.CO;2 (click doi to access paper)

    • New, M., Hulme, M. and Jones, P.D., 2000: Representing twentieth century space-time climate variability. Part 2: development of 1901-96 monthly grids of terrestrial surface climate. Journal of Climate 13, 2217-2238
      doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2000)013<2217:RTCSTC>2.0.CO;2 (click doi to access paper)

    • New, M., Lister, D., Hulme, M. and Makin, I., 2002: A high-resolution data set of surface climate over global land areas. Climate Research 21
      doi:10.3354/cr021001 (click doi to access paper)


    Data Formats

    Early datasets used a packed format which minimised storage requirements, known as 'GRIM'. This presented all the data for each gridcell in turn. The advantage was that the missing data (oceans, Antarctica) was simply not included. The disadvantage was that it required the user to reassemble the grids at the other end: a task carrying implications for storage and processing. CRU TS 2.10 was the last version to be produced in this format; it has since been converted to ASCII gridded format (below).

    Current gridded products (CRU TS) are presented either as ASCII grids, or in NetCDF format. The ASCII grids are 720 columns wide and 360 rows 'deep', with subsequent monthly grids concatenated onto earlier ones.



    Variables: abbreviations, definitions, units

    label variable units
    cld cloud cover percentage (%)
    dtr diurnal temperature range degrees Celsius
    frs frost day frequency days
    pet potential evapotranspiration millimetres per day
    pre precipitation millimetres per month
    rhm relative humidity percentage (%)
    ssh sunshine duration hours
    tmp daily mean temperature degrees Celsius
    tmn monthly average daily minimum temperature degrees Celsius
    tmx monthly average daily maximum temperature degrees Celsius
    vap vapour pressure hectopascals (hPa)
    wet wet day frequency days
    wnd wind speed metres per second (m/s)



    Coverage

    All datasets on this page cover land surfaces only, with global datasets additionally excluding Antarctica.



    Naming Conventions

    The identifying label is made up of:

    • Institution of origin both at the University of East Anglia (UK)

    • Label denoting the type of data-set

      • CL = The average climate in the recent past. These are high-resolution grids. Allows spatial comparisons of environmental features; the dependency of certain features on mean climate may be assessed.

      • TS = Month-by-month variations in weather/climate over the last century or so. These are high-resolution grids. Allows variations in weather/climate to be compared with variations in other phenomena.

      • SC = A set of scenarios of possible climates in the future, using data from climate models. These are high-resolution grids. Allows environmental impact models to consider month-by-month changes in climate from the past, through the present, and into the future. Future uncertainties are represented through scenarios.

      • CY = Country averages, based on aggregating grid cells together from the grids in CL, TS, or SC (usually TS). Allows international comparisons to be made, in conjunction with socio-economic data such as GDP, population, land area, etc.


    • Version number

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    Last updated: July 2014, Ian Harris

    These datasets are made available under the Open Database License.
    Any rights in individual contents of the datasets are licensed under the
    Database Contents License under the conditions of Attribution and Share-Alike.
    Please use the attribution Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia