HadCRU_MLE_v1.0 is a dataset of monthly gridded surface temperatures for the Earth during the instrumental period (since 1850). The name ‘HadCRU_MLE_v1.0’ reflects the dataset’s use of maximum likelihood estimation and observational data primarily from the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. Source datasets used to create HadCRU_MLE_v1.0 include land surface air temperature anomalies of HadCRUT4, sea surface temperature anomalies of HadSST4, sea ice coverage of HadISST2, the surface temperature climatology of Jones et al. (1999), the sea surface temperature climatology of HadSST3, land mask data of OSTIA, surface elevation data of GMTED2010, and climate model output of CCSM4 for a pre-industrial control scenario. HadCRU_MLE_v1.0 was generated using information from the Met Office Hadley Centre, the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, the E.U. Copernicus Marine Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research.
The primary motivation to develop HadCRU_MLE_v1.0 was to correct for two biases that may exist in global instrumental temperature datasets. The first bias is an amplification bias caused by not adequately accounting for the tendency of different regions of the planet to warm at different rates. The second bias is a sea ice bias caused by not adequately accounting for changes in sea ice coverage during the instrumental period. Corrections to these biases increased the estimate of global mean surface temperature change during the instrumental period. The new dataset has improvements compared to the Cowtan and Way version 2 dataset, including an improved statistical foundation for estimating model parameters, taking advantage of temporal correlations of observations, taking advantage of correlations between land and sea observations, and accounting for more sources of uncertainty. To properly correct for amplification bias, HadCRU_MLE_v1.0 incorporates the behaviour of the El Niño Southern Oscillation.
HadCRU_MLE_v1.0 includes mean surface temperature anomalies for each month from 1850 to 2018 and for each 5° latitude by 5° longitude grid cell. Future versions of HadCRU_MLE may become available to extend the temporal coverage beyond 2018. The maximum likelihood estimation approach allows for the estimated field of surface temperature anomalies to be temporally and spatially complete for the entire instrumental period and for the entire surface of the Earth. A 5° by 5° gridded 1961-1990 temperature climatology for HadCRU_MLE_v1.0 is available, although caution is advised when interpreting this temperature climatology since the source datasets used for temperature climatologies do not correspond perfectly with the source datasets used for temperature anomalies. Other information of HadCRU_MLE_v1.0 is available, including the estimated local amplification factors, the magnitude of the corrections for sea ice bias, and the impact of the El Niño Southern Oscillation on surface temperature anomalies.