REference Antarctic Data for Environmental Research
READER (REference Antarctic Data for Environmental Research) is a project of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR http://www.scar.org/) and has the goal of creating a high quality, long term dataset of mean surface and upper air meteorological measurements from in-situ Antarctic observing systems. These data will be of value in climate research and climate change investigations.
The primary sources of data are the Antarctic research stations and automatic weather stations. Data from mobile platforms, such as ships and drifting buoys are not being collected since our goal is to derive time series of data at fixed locations.
Surface and upper air data are being collected and the principal statistics derived are monthly and annual means. Daily data will not be provided in order to keep the data set to a manageable size. With the resources available to the project, it is clearly not possible to collect all the information that could be required by the whole range of investigations into change in the Antarctic. Instead a key set of meteorological variables (surface temperature, mean sea level pressure and surface wind speed, and upper air temperature, geopotential height and wind speed at standard levels) are being assembled and a definitive set of measurements presented for use by researchers.
A lot of stations have been operated in the Antarctic over the years; many for quite short periods. However, our goal here is to provide information on the long time series that can provide insight into change in the Antarctic. So to be included, the record from a station must extend for 25 years, although not necessarily in a continuous period, or be currently in operation and have operated for the last 10 years. In READER we have chosen to use only data from year-round stations.
It is important when using mean data to know the number of observations that were used in computing the means. As discussed in the data section, the READER mean monthly values are therefore colour coded to indicate the percentage of possible observations used in computing each mean.
Metadata are being provided, where possible, to indicate the type of observing systems used to make the measurements, changes of observing site, changes of observing practice etc. The structure of the metadata is deliberately flexible and will vary considerable between stations, depending on what information is available.
The READER data set is available on the data tab. The data consists primarily of means computed from observations from the station operators where available, with subsequent means computed from GTS data. The data set is updated on a regular basis.
The data are arranged into three sections:
Surface station data
- Temperatures Pressures
- A list of errors that are being investigated in surface station data can be accessed here.
Surface aws data
- Temperatures Pressures
- A list of corrections that have been made to the AWS tables can be accessed here.
Upper air data
More information on the data can be found here.
Temperatures are in degrees Celsius, pressures are in hecto-Pascals, wind speeds are in knots and heights are in metres.
If using the data from READER please cite the following DOI here.
Data are displayed in different colours:
- Black when the full synoptic data sets have been obtained from the national operator.
- Green when the data have been obtained from the GTS, these should be considered as preliminary values.
- Blue where the data have come from CLIMAT messages and only the monthly mean values are available.
- Red where the percentage of observations are too low to calculate an accurate mean ( < 90 % for surface and < 30 % for upper air ).
The monthly surface values are calculated from the 4 daily main synopic data collected at 00, 06, 12 and 18 UTC.
The number in brackets after the value is the percentage of observations available. Since 3rd March 2009 the percentages are truncated values rather than rounded values.
A text based version of the table can be downloaded from the bottom of each web page but the data shown in red are not included in this text version.
Any comments on data format or style or to report any suspected errors then please contact Steve Colwell.
Metadata are available for:
Temperature and pressure data from the Australian Antarctic Division that is not included in Met READER can be accessed here