NOTICE (July 2017): CDIAC will cease operations on September 30, 2017. Data will continue to be available through this portal until that time. A new DOE data archive is now at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and is named ESS-DIVE. Data stored at CDIAC is being transitioned to ESS-DIVE and will be available from ESS-DIVE by September 30, 2017. If you have any questions regarding the new archive or the data transition, please contact

image image image image

A Computer-Based Atlas of Global Instrumental Climate Data (DB-1003)

DOI: 10.3334/CDIAC/cli.db1003

data Data


R. S. Bradley, L. G. Ahern, and F. T. Keimig

Color-shaded and contoured images of global, gridded instrumental data have been produced as a computer-based atlas. Each image simultaneously depicts anomaly maps of surface temperature, sea-level pressure, 500-mbar geopotential heights, and percentages of reference-period precipitation. Monthly, seasonal, and annual composites are available in either cylindrical equidistant or northern and southern hemisphere polar projections. Temperature maps are available from 1854 to 1991, precipitation from 1851 to 1989, sea-level pressure from 1899 to 1991, and 500-mbar heights from 1946 to 1991. The source of data for the temperature images is Jones et al.'s global gridded temperature anomalies. The precipitation images were derived from Eischeid et al.'s global gridded precipitation percentages. Grids from the Data Support Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) were the sources for the sea-level-pressure and 500-mbar geopotential-height images. All images are in GIF files (1024 × 822 pixels, 256 colors) and can be displayed on many different computer platforms. Each annual subdirectory contains 141 images, each seasonal subdirectory contains 563 images, and each monthly subdirectory contains 1656 images. The entire atlas requires approximately 340 MB of disk space, but users may retrieve any number of images at one time.

Users should have monitors with the capability of displaying 256 colors (SVGA, 8-bit RGB color) and software for viewing GIF files. The monitor is necessary to take advantage of the high-resolution color images and to display them correctly. For users needing a GIF viewer, three shareware viewers are provided--one for an IBM-compatible PC, one for a Macintosh, and one for a workstation.

A CD-ROM version of the atlas is available for $30.00. For a copy of the CD-ROM, send your name and address to Frank Keimig, Department of Geology and Geography, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-5820 or email address