About Pacific Climate Change Data


Purpose

The Pacific Climate Change Data portal was initially developed through the Pacific Climate Change Science Program (PCCSP; 2009-2011) as part of the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative. This Australian Government Initiative aims to assist vulnerable countries in the Asia-Pacific region, especially Pacific island countries and East Timor, to meet high-priority climate change adaptation needs. The emphasis of the Pacific Climate Change Science Program and current Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP; 2012-2013) Program is on improving the understanding of climate and climate change in the Pacific and East Timor.

The Pacific Climate Change Data portal provides access to historical climate trends and basic climate information from observation sites across the Pacific Islands and East Timor. The website allows quick comparisons across international borders, and puts changes at individual sites into a broader "whole of the Pacific" perspective.

Substantial climate change has already affected Pacific countries. This website facilitates the simple analysis of this change, as well as raising awareness that it is already happening. The website is intended to be a robust and convenient source of climate change information and the main means for quickly and simply sharing information for the PACCSAP Program. It will maximise the use of available data and facilitate comparisons across national borders. It is hoped that the data will not only be used to monitor and analyse climate change, but also to investigate causes, develop improved regional climate projections and identify possible adaptation options for people throughout the region.

By demonstrating the value of long, high-quality climate records, it is also hoped that the website might help ensure the continuation of important observation sites in the region.

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Content

This website provides historical point-based data for climate observing sites across the Pacific. At present, climate variables available include temperatures, rainfall and Mean Sea-Level Pressure (MSLP), at daily, monthly, seasonal and annual timescales. Climate data is presented as time-series graphs and basic site information (metadata) is provided to assist users choose the most appropriate location.

Both "raw" and "homogenised" versions of data are provided. The raw data mainly come from the national meteorological services. These data have undergone basic quality checks but no homogeneity adjustments. The homogenised data in the case of temperature and MSLP have adjustments applied to correct for artificial biases caused by changes in the way the data have been recorded over time. Most of these biases are caused by changes in the instrumentation or location of the recording site and changes to the environment around the recording site. Without adjusting for homogeneity the artificial biases in the raw data series can provide misleading long-term trends. Rainfall data has not been adjusted. Only rainfall records or parts of records that are proven to be homogeneous are presented.

The extreme climate analyses are calculated using both the "raw" and "homogenised" daily temperature, rainfall and MSLP datasets.

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Features

The website uses new technology to provide users with site navigation tools to zoom, pan and overlay geospatial information. Selecting a variable of interest will display the location of all observing sites in the dataset with historical data for that variable. Selecting a country of interest will set the navigation boundaries close to the national borders of that country. Clicking on a site will then display a time-series graph of data for that site. Users are able to generate long-term trends and averages for the series. It is also possible to switch to alternative timescales or neighbouring sites if desired.

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Further Information

For all queries related to the Pacific Climate Change Data portal please email pccsp@cawcr.gov.au.

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Data Access

Except for the purposes of study, research, criticism and review, no part of these analyses may be reproduced, or redistributed for any commercial purposes. Please note that any use of these analyses should be acknowledged to the PACCSAP Program and the relevant Pacific meteorological service.

The analyses presented here are based on data collected, maintained and owned by Pacific Island meteorological services. Please contact the relevant meteorological service for access to this data.