Updating Our Archive of Surface Marine Observations

Photo of a moore

ICOADS is the most complete archive of surface marine observations, spanning five centuries and containing data from a variety of sources like the moored buoy pictured here.

With its latest update, the International Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set Release 3.0 (ICOADS R3.0) now incorporates a wide range of new and improved data and metadata sources. This new release also fosters closer integration with the oceanographic community by extending ICOADS observations to include near-surface variables—like salinity, nutrients, and dissolved carbonate chemistry—for the first time.

We’ve also implemented major innovations in provenance tracking in ICOADS R3.0. This includes unique IDs for all individual marine reports and dataset Digital Object Identifiers or DOIs. Overall, these advancements have and will continue to improve data records management for this unique dataset and enhance user feedback.

ICOADS is the world’s most extensive surface marine meteorological and oceanographic data collection. Building on extensive national and international partnerships, ICOADS provides users with easy access to many different data sources in a consistent format. Data sources range from early non-instrumental ship observations to more recent measurements from automatic systems, such as moored buoys and surface drifters.

ICOADS supports a variety of climate products including the global surface temperature record, winds, pressure, humidity, clouds, and estimates of air–sea exchange. We also use it to develop many other well-used sources of marine climate information, including reanalyses and gridded analyses of sea surface temperature.

To learn more and to access the data, visit the ICOADS website and its Data and Documentation web page.