The Surface Temperatures of the Earth

Steps towards Integrated Understanding of Variability and Change

The EarthTemp network was founded in 2012 and has already held two Workshops and issued both a position paper on measurements of the surface temperatures of Earth and explained why they believe it to be necessary.

This is closely related to the EU initiative “Meteomet” Metrology for pressure, temperature, humidity and airspeed in the atmosphere, who were present at that first meeting.

Their basic tenet is: “The success of any meteorological observations and climate investigation depends upon the availability of reliable data.”

EarthTemp network’s?? position is summarized as:

Surface temperature is a key aspect of weather and climate, relevant to human health, agriculture and leisure, ecosystem services, infrastructure development and economic activity. The term ???surface temperature??? encompasses several distinct temperatures that differently characterise even a single place and time on Earth???s surface, as well as encompassing different domains of Earth???s surface (surface air, sea, land, lakes and ice).

Their 2012?? workshop identified the following needs for progress towards meeting societal needs for surface temperature understanding and information:

  • 1. Develop more integrated, collaborative approaches to observing and understanding Earth???s various surface temperatures
  • 2. Build understanding of the relationships of different surface temperatures, where presently inadequate
  • 3. Demonstrate novel underpinning applications of various surface temperature datasets in meteorology and climate
  • 4. Make surface temperature datasets easier to obtain and exploit, for a wide constituency of users
  • 5. Consistently provide realistic uncertainty information with surface temperature datasets
  • 6. Undertake large-scale systematic intercomparisons of surface temperature data and their uncertainties
  • 7. Communicate differences and complementarities of different types of surface temperature datasets in readily understood terms
  • 8. Rescue, curate and make available valuable surface temperature data that are presently inaccessible
  • 9. Maintain and/or develop observing systems for surface temperature data
  • 10. Build capacities to accelerate progress in the accuracy and usability of surface temperature dataset

The published version may be downloaded by clicking the title: Taking the temperature of the Earth: steps towards integrated understanding of variability and change. The discussion paper is open for comments until?? 6 Sep 2013;.

The comments (together with the peer reviews) will be considered when the paper is revised for the final version.

Download the submitted version (PDF, 2.6 Mb)

Download the Original Draft (no references, no figures, PDF, 230kB)

Glynn Hulley and Pierre Guillevic have submitted the session title as Taking the Temperature of the Earth: Challenges and Applications Across All Earth Surface Domains for the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco (9-13 Dec. 2013).

EarthTemp is a network to stimulate new international collaboration in measuring and understanding the surface temperatures of Earth. This will involve experts specialising in different types of measurement of surface temperature, who do not usually meet. Their motivation is the need for better understanding of in situ measurements and satellite observations to quantify surface temperature as it changes from day to day, month to month.

Visit online at: and to learn more about the efforts to bring better measurements and measurement science into the discussions on Climate and weather changes.