Resources and Data References

Annual average 2-m temperature anomalies in the Arctic (67°N+) for various reanalysis data sets. Anomalies are calculated from a 1981-2010 baseline.

All of the raw observational data I use for my climate visualizations is free and publicly available. I have compiled a list of their respective data archives and methodological references below. For more general information about climate data, I highly recommend exploring the NCAR Climate Data Guide (Schneider et al. 2013) and Advancing Reanalysis page. I also discuss specific examples of climate data visualizations in more detail in my monthly blog. Looking for how to get started in Python? Look here!

If you have any questions about the resources below, please do not hesitate to reach out! This page is very much under construction as newer data become available. Updates to data products are normal and a critical part of the scientific process. Uncertainties in data are real and normal too. I encourage you to compare datasets from different scientific institutions around the world – though you’ll find the same overall climate change story.

Lastly, a huge thank you to all of the scientists, software engineers, administrators, and support staff that make this all possible. Be kind if something isn’t working, and have fun exploring!


For interactively exploring climate data without coding experience:

  • Charctic Interactive Sea Ice Graph
  • Climate Change Warming Stripes
  • Climate Reanalyzer
  • GISS Surface Temperature Analysis Plots
  • IPCC AR6 WGI Interactive Atlas
  • KNMI Climate Explorer
  • NOAA Climate.gov Interactive Data
  • NOAA Daily Mean Climate Composites
  • NOAA FACility for Weather and Climate AssessmenTS
  • NOAA Monthly or seasonal time series of climate variables
  • NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information: Climate at a Glance
  • NOAA Web-based Reanalysis Intercomparison Tool: Monthly/Seasonal Time-Series
  • OSI SAF Sea Ice Index Quicklooks
  • University of Bremen: Sea Ice Data Browser
  • VIsualization Service of Horizontal scale Observations at Polar region

  • For using weather model forecast guidance:

  • Climate Reanalyzer – University of Maine
  • CyclonicWx – Alex Boreham
  • Earth Nullschool – Cameron Beccario
  • Ensemble Situational Awareness Table – NOAA
  • Forecast Charts – ECMWF
  • GFS Analyses and Forecasts – Alicia Bentley
  • Global and Regional Climate Anomalies – Karsten Haustein
  • Model Analyses and Guidance – NOAA
  • NBM 1D Viewer – NOAA
  • NEXLAB – College of DuPage
  • Pivotal Weather
  • PolarWx – Tomer Burg
  • PSU’s e-WALL
  • Real-Time Quasi-Geostrophic (QG) Diagnostics – Thomas Galarneau
  • Tropical Cyclone Guidance Project – NCAR/RAL
  • Tropical Model Guidance – Brian Tang
  • Tropical Tidbits – Levi Cowan
  • Weathernerds – Matt Onderlinde
  • WxCharts – MetDesk

    For monitoring (near-)surface air temperatures:

  • Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures (Rohde and Hausfather, 2020): http://berkeleyearth.org/data/
  • Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (Saha et al. 2010): https://rda.ucar.edu/datasets/ds093.1/
  • ERA5 Reanalysis (Hersbach et al. 2020): https://climate.copernicus.eu/climate-reanalysis
  • ERA-Interim Reanalysis (Dee et al. 2011): https://www.ecmwf.int/en/forecasts/datasets/reanalysis-datasets/era-interim
  • ERA-20C Reanalysis (Poli et al. 2016): https://www.ecmwf.int/en/forecasts/datasets/reanalysis-datasets/era-20c
  • HadCRUT5 (V5.0.1.0) (Morice et al. 2020): https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut5/data/current/download.html
  • ERA-40 Reanalysis (Uppala et al. 2005): https://apps.ecmwf.int/datasets/data/era40-moda/levtype=sfc/
  • JRA-55 Reananlysis (Kobayashi et al. 2015): https://jra.kishou.go.jp/JRA-55/atlas/en/index.html
  • Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (V2) (Gelaro et al. 2017): https://gmao.gsfc.nasa.gov/reanalysis/MERRA-2/data_access/
  • NASA/GISS GISTEMP (V4) (Lennsen et al. 2019): https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/
  • NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis I (Kalnay et al. 1996): https://psl.noaa.gov/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis.html
  • NCEP/DOE Reanalysis II (Kanamitsu et al. 2002): https://psl.noaa.gov/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis2.html
  • NOAA-CIRES 20th Century Reanalysis (V2c) (Compo et al. 2011): https://psl.noaa.gov/data/gridded/data.20thC_ReanV2c.html
  • NOAA/CIRES/DOE 20th Century Reanalysis (V3) (Slivinski et al. 2019): https://psl.noaa.gov/data/gridded/data.20thC_ReanV3.html
  • NOAAGlobalTemp (V5) (Zhang et al. 2019): https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/products/land-based-station/noaa-global-temp

  • For monitoring ocean surface temperatures:

  • HadSST.4.0.1.0 (Kennedy et al. 2019): https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadsst4/data/download.html
  • NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature (V5) (Huang et al. 2017): https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/products/extended-reconstructed-sst
  • NOAA Optimum Interpolation Sea Surface Temperature (V2) (Reynolds et al. 2002): https://psl.noaa.gov/data/gridded/data.noaa.oisst.v2.html

  • For monitoring Arctic sea-ice age:

  • EASE-Grid Sea Ice Age (V4) (Tschudi et al. 2020): https://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0611/versions/4
  • Quicklook Arctic Weekly EASE-Grid Sea Ice Age (V1) (Tschudi et al. 2019): https://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0749/versions/1

  • For monitoring Arctic sea-ice concentration:

  • Gridded Monthly Sea Ice Extent and Concentration, 1850 Onward (V2) (Walsh et al. 2016): https://nsidc.org/data/g10010/
  • Historical Sea Ice Atlas: Observed Estimates of Sea Ice Concentration in Alaska Waters: https://www.snap.uaf.edu/tools/sea-ice-atlas
  • NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record of Passive Microwave Sea Ice Concentration (V4) (Peng et al. 2013): https://nsidc.org/data/g02202/versions/4
  • Near-Real-Time NOAA/NSIDC Climate Data Record of Passive Microwave Sea Ice Concentration (V2) (Meier et al. 2021): https://nsidc.org/data/g10016/versions/2

  • For monitoring Arctic sea-ice extent:

  • Gridded Monthly Sea Ice Extent and Concentration, 1850 Onward (V2) (Walsh et al. 2016): https://nsidc.org/data/g10010/
  • Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years (Kinnard et al. 2011): https://www.nature.com/articles/nature10581
  • Sea Ice Index (V3) (Fetterer et al. 2017): https://nsidc.org/data/g02135/

  • For monitoring Arctic sea-ice thickness/volume:

  • CryoSat-2 (Laxon et al. 2013):https://cds.climate.copernicus.eu/cdsapp#!/dataset/satellite-sea-ice-thickness?tab=overview
  • CryoSat-2/SMOS Merged Product (Ricker et al. 2017): https://earth.esa.int/eogateway/catalog/smos-cryosat-l4-sea-ice-thickness
  • CryoSat-2 Year-Round Product (Landy et al. 2022): https://data.bas.ac.uk/full-record.php?id=GB/NERC/BAS/PDC/01613
  • ICESat-2 (Petty et al. 2020): https://nsidc.org/data/is2sitmogr4/versions/1
  • Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (Zhang and Rothrock, 2003): http://psc.apl.uw.edu/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/data/
  • PIOMAS-20C (Schweiger et al. 2019): https://psc.apl.uw.edu/research/projects/piomas-20c/

  • For monitoring polar land ice mass:

  • GRACE and GRACE-FO JPL RL06Mv2 Mascon Solution (Wiese et al. 2019): https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/ice-sheets/

  • More information:

  • Blog Archive (2022)
  • Ranking Archive (2022)
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  • Open Data and References
  • Open Software and Tools

  • My visualizations:

  • Arctic Sea Ice Extent and Concentration
  • Arctic Sea Ice Volume and Thickness
  • Arctic Temperatures
  • Antarctic Sea Ice Extent and Concentration
  • Climate model projections compared to observations in the Arctic
  • Global Sea Ice Extent and Concentration
  • Polar Climate Change Figures
  • Climate Viz of the Month

  • *All figures may be freely distributed (with credit).