October 21, 2019 | Published by | , ,

This paper documents the efforts of the international weather data rescue initiative ACRE, the International Surface Temperature Initiative and researchers that took part in workshops held in Bern, Switzerland, in June 2018 to rescue and digitize meteorological measurements taken prior to 1850 from around the world.  These measurements can be used to create climate and weather reconstructions that range from the Little Ice Age until today, allowing researchers to examine past extreme events and create opportunities to explore the intersection if climate and societies. Current assessments of global climate change generally start at 1850, so extending our understanding back in time is of large scientific interest.

Currently, the inventory described in the paper consists of 4583 unique entries from 2250 locations around the world. Only half of these have been transcribed and only a quarter of this total have been entered into global inventories.

The paper highlights two clear goals in the international effort to rescue these centuries old data and make them publicly available to the scientific community. These goals are:

  • To image and transcribe further early instrumental data and preserve them for posterity (perhaps even an internationally coordinated effort between national meteorological services and other institutions such as Copernicus Climate Change Services, C3S);
  • To compile the digitally available data in a common repository. Activities currently undertaken within C3S can support this process with broader contributions from the communities. The inventory will be maintained as a living document at the C3S Climate Data Store, additions to the inventory will be welcomed.
  • Paper: Brönnimann, S., Allan, R., Ashcroft, L., Baer, S., Barriendos, M., Brázdil, R., Brugnara, Y., Brunet, M., Brunetti, M., Chimani, B., Cornes, R., Domínguez-Castro, F., Filipiak, J., Founda, D., Herrera, R. G., Gergis, J., Grab, S., Hannak, L., Huhtamaa, H., Jacobsen, K. S., Jones, P., Jourdain, S., Kiss, A., Lin, K. E., Lorrey, A., Lundstad, E., Luterbacher, J., Mauelshagen, F., Maugeri, M., Maughan, N., Moberg, A., Neukom, R., Nicholson, S., Noone, S., Nordli, Ø., Ólafsdóttir, K. B., Pearce, P. R., Pfister, L., Pribyl, K., Przybylak, R., Pudmenzky, C., Rasol, D., Reichenbach, D., Řezníčková, L., Rodrigo, F. S., Rohr, C., Skrynyk, O., Slonosky, V., Thorne, P., Valente, M. A., Vaquero, J. M., Westcottt, N. E., Williamson, F. and Wyszyński, P. (2019). Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: A global inventory. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society: https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0040.1.