Gazetteer:             Identification Information

Originator:  Global Change Department National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection

                                Date:  1996

Title:  Global Climate Database

                                Purpose:  unknown

Abstract:  README for the updated global climate database, dd may 15, 1996

Reference to version 1.0 of this database:

Leemans, R., Cramer, W., 1991. The IIASA database for mean monthly values of temperature, precipitation and cloudiness on a global terrestrial grid. IIASA Research Report RR-91-18. International Institute of Applied Systems Analyses, Laxenburg. 61 pp. November 1991.


The documentation of the updated version is in preparation. The name of this updated version will be CLIMATE (Cramer & Leemans Interpolated Meteorology for Applications in Terrestrial Ecology).


The quality has been improved by using stringent station selection criteria for the climatic normal period 1931-1960. The database is now based on c. high-quality 16000-20000 stations world wide. The interpolation methodology has been improved by using a emperical correction scheme with locally derived lapse rates. This scheme works well for both temperature and precipiation.


The evapotranspiration scheme used is developed by Prentice et al. It reference is: Prentice, I.C., Sykes, M. Cramer, W., 1993.  A simulation model for the transient effects of climate change on forest landscapes. Ecological Modelling, 65: 51-70.



Global GIS NOTE: Cloud Coverage or Cloudiness is defined as the actual number of bright sunshine hours over the potential number, and is thus expressed as a percentage figure. The number in the database can be confusing. A low percentage means more sunshine and fewer clouds. To look at this from the assigned colors in the legend the darker-blue the values are the more sunshine and fewer clouds. Inserted by Trent Hare


The files all contain:

Longitute        (degrees (2 decimals), lower left corner of the 0.5 degree cells).

Latitude          (degrees (2 decimals), lower left corner of the 0.5 degree cells).

Altitude          (m asl)

12 monthly values (jan, feb.....nov, dec.)


tmp.shp  mean temperature (C, 1 decimal)

prc.shp mean precipitation (mm, 0 decimal)

clo.shp  mean sunshine or cloudines (%, 0 decimal)

pet.shp   potential evapotranspiration (mm, 0 decimal)

aet.shp   actual evapotranspiration (mm, 0 decimal)


                                Access Constraints:  none

Use Constraints:  It is ultimately the user's responsibility to assess the accuracy and completeness of a data set extracted from the database and to determine if these are sufficient for the purposes to which the data set would be applied.


            Ordering Instructions:  available online, see online linkage below


                                Contact Person:  Rik Leemans

                                Contact Organization:  National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection

                                Address:  P.O.Box 12233
                        City:  Research Triangle Park

                                State or Province: NC

                                Postal Code: 27709

                                Country:  USA


Online Linkage: http://www.niehs.nih.gov


                                Entity and Attribute Information (table heading explanations)

                                Shape:  ArcView file type (tmp.shp, prc.shp, aet.shp, clo.shp, pet.shp)