Weather observations from marine expeditions

Everything we know about past climate change and variability depends on access to historical observations of past weather. For the 70% of the world covered by ocean, that means the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere DataSet (ICOADS).

ICOADS is a comprehensive collection of everything already in an appropriate digital format, but there are plenty of historical observations that are not yet included. Most of these exist only in printed form in libraries and archives - to make those available to science, we need to transcribe them, convert them into modern standard formats, and provide them to ICOADS for inclusion. That’s what we are doing here: We find old reports containing weather observations that we want, but are not yet in ICOADS, and transcribe and convert the observations.

This is a feeder dataset for ICOADS: It includes raw transcribed observations, software converting those into a standard format, and the final standardised observations. If you just want the observations, you don’t want this - use ICOADS instead, but if you are looking for the provenance of the observations, or an example of how to do the necessary format conversion, this may be for you.

This dataset is distributed under the terms of the Open Government Licence. All code included is licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License.