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HadISST1.1 - Global Monthly Mean Gridded SSTs (1870-2015)

Update Frequency: Not Planned
Latest Data Update: 2015-12-20
Status: Completed
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2007-02-02
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 168 Files | 1GB


This dataset contains measurements of sea surface temperature (SST) (HadISST1.1). Dataset include monthly mean gridded (1deg grid), global SSTs from 1870 to October 2015. This product replaced the GISST/GICE (Global Sea Surface Temperature/Global sea-Ice content) data sets ended in February 2003.
The SST data are taken from the Met Office Marine Data Bank (MDB), which from 1982 onwards also includes data received through the Global Telecommunications System (GTS). In order to enhance data coverage, monthly median SSTs for 1871-1995 from the Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (COADS) (now ICOADS) were also used where there were no MDB data. The sea ice data are taken from a variety of sources including digitized sea ice charts and passive microwave retrievals.

HadISST1 temperatures are reconstructed using a two stage reduced-space optimal interpolation procedure, followed by superposition of quality-improved gridded observations onto the reconstructions to restore local detail. The sea ice fields are made more homogeneous by compensating satellite microwave-based sea ice concentrations for the impact of surface melt effects on retrievals in the Arctic and for algorithm deficiencies in the Antarctic, and by making the historical in situ concentrations consistent with the satellite data. SSTs near sea ice are estimated using statistical relationships between SST and sea ice concentration.
From May 2007 the data set of in situ measurements used in HadISST has changed. The MOHSST data set, which was previously used has been discontinued, and HadSST2 is now being used in its place. The two systems ran in parallel for several months prior to the changeover and no significant differences were seen.

The data were provided by the Hadley centre (Met Office).

Important Notes:
On 13th March 2015: Users have noticed that there is a minor discontinuity at the dateline in HadISST1 SST fields starting in 1982. It appears to only affect gridcells just to the east of the dateline. Please note that this can affect estimates of the mean and variability of SSTs in HadISST1 when analysed across this region.
On 3rd December 2010: The SSM/I satellite that is used to provide the data for the sea ice analysis in HadISST suffered a significant degradation in performance through January and February 2009. The problem affected HadISST fields from January 2009 and probably causes an underestimate of ice extent and concentration. It also affected ses surface temperatures in sea ice areas because the SSTs are estimated from the sea ice concentration. As of 3rd December 2010, the Met Office Hadley Centre has reprocessed the data from January 2009 to the present using a difference sea ice data source. This is an improvement on the previous situation but users should still note that the switch of data source at the start of 2009 might introduce a discontinuity into the record.

Citable as:  Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research (2007): HadISST1.1 - Global Monthly Mean Gridded SSTs (1870-2015). NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, date of citation.
Abbreviation: Hadley-HADISST-sst
Keywords: Met Office, Hadley, SST, ice, ocean, temperature


Previous Info:
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Previously used record identifiers:
Access rules:
Restricted data: please submit an application using the REQUEST ACCESS link for access.
Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

Data obtained from the period 1870 to October 2015 (last update was made in December 2015 for 2 months in arrear) by the Met Office Hadley Centre, using satellite and sea surface in-situ observations are passed to the BADC for archiving.

Data Quality:
Operational data
File Format:

Process overview

This dataset was generated by the computation detailed below.

HadISST Digitized Sea Ice charts and satellite data processing deployed on Met Office Hadley Centre Computers


This computation involved: HadISST Digitized Sea Ice charts and satellite data processing deployed on Met Office Hadley Centre Computers. Process used to create the ice content of the Hadisst dataset from various sources of digitized charts.

Input Description


Output Description


Software Reference


  • long_name: Monthly Mean
  • names: Monthly Mean
  • units: C
  • var_id: sst
  • long_name: sst
  • standard_name: sea_surface_temperature
  • names: sst, sea_surface_temperature
  • var_id: time_bnds

Co-ordinate Variables

  • units: degrees_north
  • standard_name: latitude
  • var_id: latitude
  • long_name: Latitude
  • names: latitude, Latitude
  • units: degrees_east
  • standard_name: longitude
  • var_id: longitude
  • long_name: Longitude
  • names: longitude, Longitude
  • standard_name: time
  • var_id: time
  • long_name: Time
  • names: time, Time
Temporal Range
Start time:
End time:
Geographic Extent