Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth

The Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth, ACRE, is an international science project, began in 2008, that recovers historical weather observations to reconstruct past global and local weather patterns and so support meteorological reanalysis. The project aims to collect weather data from the past 250 years by linking international meteorological organisations to support data recovery projects and the imaging and digitisation of historical meteorological observations made at, for example, inland stations, lighthouses, or by ships at sea or in ports.[1] The project aims to create historical datasets that are spatially and temporally complete, so as to be of value at a local, or regional level, as well as on a global scale. ACRE aims to recover millions of historic weather observations. This data will be deposited into two databases,

This data will also be used to build a global dataset of historical weather reconstructions based on a grid of two degrees of latitude by two of longitude at six hourly intervals, entitled the 20th Century Reanalysis, or 20CR. Version one of 20CR, covering 1891 to 2008, was released in Autumn 2009. Version two, covering 1871 to 2010, appeared in December 2011. Version 3, 20CRv3, going back to 1836, was published in October 2019.[2] It is intended that all the data recovered and the 20CR will be made freely available.[1]


The project has nine core partners,[1]

In addition to the core partners, some 35 projects and other organisations are involved or have contributed recovered data.

Data sourcesEdit

Sources of historic weather data incorporated into ACRE include,

  • Daily and hourly readings from the logbooks of Royal Navy ships, 1912 to 1925, transcribed by volunteers for Old Weather,
  • Logbooks of US Navy, USRC and US Coastguard ships in the Arctic and Pacific from the mid-1800s onwards, which are also being transcribed by Old Weather,[3]
  • Twice daily readings in the China Coast Meteorological Register, 1874 to 1932,
  • Digitised German merchant ship reports, 1872 to 1902, provided by Deutscher Wetterdienst,
  • 19th and 20th century data from the Portuguese archives, including material from former Portuguese Asian and African colonies,
  • Météo-France archives of historical data for France and for former French colonies.[4]
  • Logbooks of the English East India Company from the 1780s to the 1830s,[5]
  • British hydrographic and survey vessel remark books from the UK Hydrographic Office.[5]
  • Sir Charles Todd's folios of weather observations from across Australia and New Zealand made between 1879 and 1909.[6]

Numerous other sources of historical observations have been identified.[7]

Outputs and usesEdit

The datasets compiled by ACRE will be used to test new climate change models,[8] provide data for climate research, for policy makers and for teaching.

The 20CR dataset has already been utilized in several significant research projects,

Important publicationsEdit

CLIWOC's efforts culminated in the creation of this historical document, namely A Dictionary of Nautical Meteorological Terms: CLIWOC Multilingual Dictionary of Meteorological Terms; An English/Spanish/French/Dutch Dictionary of Windforce Terms Used by Mariners from 1750 to 1850.[15]


  1. ^ a b c ACRE (2008-01-21). "About ACRE". The Met Office. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Old weather "time machine" opens a treasure trove for researchers - Welcome to NOAA Research". Retrieved 2019-10-09.
  3. ^ Ian Simpson (Reuters) (2012). "US Looks to Old Arctic Ship Logs for Climate Change Clues". Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  4. ^ Rob Allan (2008-01-21). "WG1:Data Rescue". The Met Office. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  5. ^ a b Rob Allan (21 January 2008). "Imaging and digitisation of historical instrumental marine and terrestrial weather observations". The Met Office. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  6. ^ Australian Meteorological Association Inc. "Sir Charles Todd Weather Folios 1879-1909". Australian Meteorological Association Inc. Archived from the original on 1 September 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  7. ^ Rob Allan (2012). "'ACRE: European Mean Sea Level Pressure series back into the 18th Century". Philip Brohan ( Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  8. ^ Zinta Zommers (22 March 2013). "Predicting future climate change may lie in the past". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  9. ^ CIRES Press Release (9 April 2013). "New study gives first independent confirmation of global land warming". NOAA CIRES. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  10. ^ Lucas Laursen (1 December 2011). "Extreme Weather More Frequent in Northern Europe". Earth Magazine. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  11. ^ Lauren Morello & Climatewire (10 February 2012). "NOAA Halts Reconstruction of Past Climate". Scientific American. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  12. ^ Janese Silvey (28 September 2011). "MU researchers examine 1911 day of wild weather". The Columbia Daily Tribune. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  13. ^ Jessie Lee & Mike Unscheid (January 2011). "January 1886 blizzards - 125 years later". KGYN Radio News. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  14. ^ Earth Systems Research Laboratory (2012). "20th Century Reanalysis". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  15. ^ Gustavo Herrera, Roberto; García-Herrera, Ricardo; Prieto, Luis; Gallego, David; Hernández, Emiliano; Gimeno, Luis; Können, Gunther; Koek, Frits; Wheeler, Dennis; Wilkinson, Clive; Del Rosario Prieto, Maria; Báez, Carlos; Woodruff, Scott. A Dictionary of Nautical Meteorological Terms: CLIWOC Multilingual Dictionary of Meteorological Terms; An English/Spanish/French/Dutch Dictionary of Windforce Terms Used by Mariners from 1750 to 1850 (PDF). CLIWOC. Retrieved February 15, 2014.