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Elizabeth C. Kent, Scott D. Woodruff, and David I. Berry

Abstract

It is increasingly recognized that metadata can significantly improve the quality of scientific analyses and that the availability of metadata is particularly important for the study of climate variability. The International Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS) contains in situ observations frequently used in climate studies, and this paper describes the ship metadata that are available to complement ICOADS. This paper highlights the metadata available in World Meteorological Organization Publication No. 47 that include information on measurement methods and observation heights. Changing measurement methods and heights are known to be a cause of spurious change in the climate record. Here the authors focus on identifying measurement heights for air temperature and wind speed and also give information on SST measurement depths.

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