CR 21:1-25 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/cr021001

A high-resolution data set of surface climate over global land areas

Mark New1,*, David Lister2, Mike Hulme3, Ian Makin4

1School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB, United Kingdom
2Climatic Research Unit, and
3Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom
4International Water Management Institute, PO Box 2075, Colombo, Sri Lanka

ABSTRACT: We describe the construction of a 10¹ latitude/longitude data set of mean monthly surface climate over global land areas, excluding Antarctica. The climatology includes 8 climate elements‹precipitation, wet-day frequency, temperature, diurnal temperature range, relative humidity, sunshine duration, ground frost frequency and windspeed‹and was interpolated from a data set of station means for the period centred on 1961 to 1990. Precipitation was first defined in terms of the parameters of the Gamma distribution, enabling the calculation of monthly precipitation at any given return period. The data are compared to an earlier data set at 0.5º latitude/longitude resolution and show added value over most regions. The data will have many applications in applied climatology, biogeochemical modelling, hydrology and agricultural meteorology and are available through the International Water Management Institute World Water and Climate Atlas ( ) and the Climatic Research Unit (

KEY WORDS: High resolution data set · Surface climate · Applied climatology · Precipitation probability · IWMI Climate Atlas · CRU

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