An Annotated Inventory of Climatic Indices and Data Sets

H. A. Hattemer-Frey, T. R. Karl, and F. T. Quinlan

This publication describes 34 prominent climatic indices and provides an annotated listing and bibliography of additional indices to help meet the information needs of researchers who are evaluating the effects of increased atmospheric CO2 levels. The goal was to discuss a wide range of indices that would be useful to scientists working directly in diverse areas of CO2-climate research and those individuals interested in climate research results for other applied studies.

This publication is a source to consider first to determine what information is available and how knowledge of climatic indices may help investigators meet their research goals.

To ensure that a broad spectrum of indices was considered, indices from the following ten subject areas are included:

(1) Global/Hemispheres, (2) Marine Data Sets, (3) Long-Term Regional and Local Temperature and Precipitation Data Sets, (4) Atmospheric Constituents Data Sets, (5) Upper Air Data Sets, (6) Southern Oscillation/El Niño Data Sets, (7) Solar Data Sets, (8) Proxy Data Sets, (9) Lake Levels and River Flows Data Sets, and (10) Snowcover and Sea Ice Extent Data Sets.

Each description provides a brief but detailed summary of the index's relevance, importance, and derivation. Seventeen descriptor fields were used to describe each index, including primary references, relevant background information, calculation of the index, temporal resolution, spatial coverage, unit of measurement, period of record, reliability, relationship to other indices, application, and citation information.

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