>Comparison of Versions 2 and 3 of Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature

>The third version of the Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature (ERSST.v3) is available in ASCII format in a number of data sets segmented by latitude. The data spans the period of January 1880 to April 2008. It has not been updated since then. The selection page for the data sets (land only, ocean only, and land-ocean combined, all at various latitude bands) is here. ftp://eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ersst/pdo Don’t let the PDO suffix worry you. There’s lots more there. The discussion page:

But how does the ERSST.v3 data compare to the version available from the NOMADS system (ERSST.v2), the data I’ve been using for the posts on SST? I’ve already discussed the substantial differences in the newer versions as they pertain to the Arctic Ocean and Southern Ocean data sets. The additional resolution in those two high-latitude areas is necessary to the understanding of oceanic climate, especially the Southern Ocean as it is the hub between the three major oceans and of Thermohaline Circulation.

The Arctic and Southern Oceans, presented again in Figures 7 and 12, were the two areas with the greatest changes between versions. The changes to the Southern Hemisphere data are also greater than that of the Northern Hemisphere. In the following 13 graphs, I won’t provide any commentary; I’ll let the differences speak for themselves. The various latitude bands are as provided by the NCDC in the listing of ERSST.v3 data sets.

Latitude Band = 0 to 30N
Figure 1

Latitude Band = 0 to 90N
Figure 2

Latitude Band = 20 to 90N
Figure 3

Latitude Band = 20S to 20N
Figure 4

Latitude Band = 30 to 60N
Figure 5

Latitude Band = 0 to 30S
Figure 6

Latitude Band = 60 to 90N
Figure 7

Latitude Band = 30 to 60S
Figure 8

Latitude Band = 60S to 60N
Figure 9

Latitude Band = 0 to 90S
Figure 10

Latitude Band = 20 to 90S
Figure 11

Latitude Band = 60 to 90S
Figure 12

Latitude Band = 90S to 90N
Figure 13


As soon as I find a way to easily download gridded time series data for the ERSST.v3 version, I will use it in my SST posts. Until that time, what’s available through NOMADS will suffice.


Smith and Reynolds Extended Reconstructed SST (ERSST.v2) is available through the NOAA National Operational Model Archive & Distribution System (NOMADS).

The source of the more recent version of the Smith and Reynolds Extended Reconstructed SST (ERSST.v3) is listed at the opening of this post.

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s