Climate Charts, Data and RClimate Scripts

While there are many online climate data resources, the source data files are in numerous data formats, presenting a challenge to climate citizen scientists who want to retrieve and analyze several climate indicators at the same time.

I have been working to develop a consolidated open access data file and RClimate scripts that users can use to retrieve climate data, conduct their own analysis  and generate their own climate charts.  My goal is to make it easier for climate citizen scientists to get their hands on the data in a simple,  usable format (CSV). This post updates the status of my RClimate efforts.

Consolidated Climate Data File

This CSV file (link) includes 9 monthly climate data series:

  • Global land – ocean temperature anomaly data for the 5 major series: GISS, NOAA, Hadley, RSS and UAH. The first 3 series use station data, the last 2 use satellite based observations.
  • Nino34 SST Anomaly
  • Pacific Decadal oscillation (PDO)
  • Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)
  • Global Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly (SSTA)

The CSV data file is updated monthly from source agency data files. All source agency data is downloaded monthly so that any changes in Agency source data will be reflected in the consolidated file.

I update the file once all Agency source files have been updated. This file is usually available for the last month in the 3rd week of the current month.

Climate Charts

I regularly update 15 climate charts using publicly available online data and R. All of my RClimate scripts are available for download and use (link).

3 responses to “Climate Charts, Data and RClimate Scripts

  1. First of all, this is just great. That said, here are a couple of ideas for improvement:

    * Just as you collect 5 different temperature data sets, you might consider having multiple indices for ENSO. In addition to Nino3.4, some of the other widely used ones are:

    MEI (
    SOI (
    ONI (

    * Of course, if you keep adding more and more columns to the file, you’ll be waiting for more and more groups to report before you can release the previous month’s table. At some point, it might make sense to split the CSV file into a couple of different ones (one with all 5 temperature series, one with the various ocean oscillation indexes, one with solar / volcanic series, etc.) and post each one once all its sources have reported.

    Just a couple of ideas. Thanks again for maintaining this wonderful site — I refer to the charts often.

    • J

      I have added the MEI to compliment the Nino34 SSTA. I have also added the monthly sunspot numbers.

      I will be adding SOI in the next few days.

      I welcome other suggestions.

  2. This is great, thanks! I’m just learning R, so it was really good for me to follow through your code and see what it’s doing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s