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Content archived on 2024-04-19

North Atlantic climatological dataset

Exploitable results

The National Meteorological Institutes in Northern Europe were started more than a century ago and over the years, a huge amount of data has accumulated. However, much of this data has not been accessible on computers, and has therefore not been subjected to a rigorous testing of homogeneity. The present project represents the largest effort hitherto accomplished within the field of digitization, homogenization and analysis of a multi-elemental dataset in this part of the World. The work involved the co-ordination and production of a consistent climatological dataset covering the northern North Atlantic from Greenland in the west, to Finland in the east, from Svalbard in the north and Belgium in the south. The natural variability of the climate in the northern North Atlantic region was also analysed and the knowledge gained was between the North European climatic data centres and other researchers dealing with climatic change. The main result of this project has been the production of the first digital version of the North Atlantic Climatological Dataset (NACD Version 1), consisting of 388 individual time series of air temperature, air pressure, precipitation, days with snow cover and cloud cover. Preliminary analysis of the homogenized dataset has shown, that time series of air temperature, cloud cover and precipitation have been increasing, whereas air pressure and days with snow cover have remained unchanged over the period 1890-1990. Other main results of this project are as follows: wide recognition of the importance of homogenization of climatic time series; general acceptance of the multi-element approach to climatic change studies; definition of a standard data dictionary for monthly climatic data; implementation of a standard exchange format for monthly climatic data; suggestion of a standard metadata format for climatic time series; initiation of co-ordination of climatic change studies on a wider European level; investigation of new techniques for detection of climatic change; improved understanding of causal factors in climatic change issues; formulation of several new proposals for future North Atlantic climatic studies.

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