Jones et al 1990 Nature
Climatic Research Unit : Data : Other

Data used in the Jones et al. (1990) publication

The Jones et al. (1990) paper assessing the urbanization effect on hemispheric and global scale temperatures has been extensively cited in the literature over the last 17 years. The paper examined the urbanization influence by using the then gridded temperature dataset (see Jones et al. 1986a,b for details, but note the different resolution of 5° latitude by 10° longitude, compared to HadCRUT3) compared to a rural station network especially constructed for three regions. This page will give the locations and data used in the paper, by linking to the original 6 files used in 1989/90.

The three regions of the world were: western parts of the former Soviet Union, eastern Australia and eastern China. There were 38 stations over the former Soviet Union, 49 over eastern Australia and 42 over eastern China. The locations of the stations are given in each of these three files (fUSSR, eAUS and eCHIN). The Chinese locations additionally give the locations of 42 urban stations, which were used in the paper. For fUSSR and China, the locations are given with their then WMO IDs. For Australia, these are the national IDs then in use. The Chinese and Australian locations are given in degrees and minutes, but for the fUSSR they are in degrees and tenths. The location names are given for the fUSSR, but only the WMO IDs were known for Australia and China. The additional number at the beginning of the Australian and Chinese locations likely relates to the nearest grid point in the 5° latitude by 10° longitude dataset used at the time.

The paper looked at urbanization using annual average data (for eastern China from for 1954-1983, for eastern Australia for 1930-1988 and for western fUSSR from 1901-1988; although for the latter, data are given back to 1881 when available). For China, all 84 stations are complete over the 30 years. The ordering of the data for the Chinese stations gives the urban sites first, then the rural, so opposite to the order with the locations. The other two regions have missing data (-999 for fUSSR and -9 for Australia). The units of the annual temperature values are rounded to degrees and tenths (e.g. 215 is 21.5°C). The data files contain the original (as supplied) annual average temperatures for the sites, the only data (i.e. not monthly) that was available to the 1990 study. For Australia, the annual temperature averages must be calculated by averaging the annual maximums and minimums, which are given consecutively in the file. The series were selected by the appropriate co-authors within the study. This selection was based on population, homogeneity of the record and on whether the series were digitized.

None of the rural data (because of the annual resolution) entered subsequent versions of the Climatic Research Unit temperature database. Four of the fUSSR rural series were already in the CRU temperature database.


Jones, P.D., Raper, S.C.B., Bradley, R.S., Diaz, H.F., Kelly, P.M. and Wigley, T.M.L., 1986: Northern Hemisphere surface air temperature variations: 1851-1984. Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 25, 161-179.

Jones, P.D., Raper, S.C.B. and Wigley, T.M.L., 1986: Southern Hemisphere surface air temperature variations: 1851-1984. Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 25, 1213-1230.

Jones, P.D., Groisman, P.Ya., Coughlan, M., Plummer, N., Wang, W-C. and Karl, T.R., 1990: Assessment of urbanization effects in time series of surface air temperature over land. Nature 347, 169-172.



Last updated: 4th April 2007, Phil Jones