e-RA: the electronic Rothamsted Archive

Meteorological open access data

Annual mean air temperature at Rothamsted

Last updated 21/04/2017

This version 1 is superceded by version 2:

Access Use and Conditions

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

YOU MUST CITE AS: Rothamsted Research (2017). Rothamsted mean long-term annual temperature. Electronic Rothamsted Archive https://doi.org/10.23637/KeyRefOARESmatemp.

Click to download chart Annual mean Rothamsted temperature Click the chart above for a PDF version. Summary data used for this chart are derived from annual daily data measured at Rothamsted Meteorological Station and are available to download as an Excel Spreadsheet: Annual Mean Rothamsted Temperature.

The original raw data is available, after registering, from the e-RA database. Please contact the e-RA Curators for a password and further details.


Rothamsted has one of the longest running continuous sets of meteorological recordings in the world. The figure shows the annual mean air temperature at Rothamsted every year from 1878-2013. Also shown is the mean over each five-year period, 1878-1882, 1883-1887, etc. The red line shows the mean temperature, 1878-1987. Mean annual air temperature has fluctuated considerably between 1878-2013. However, when the variation in annual temperature is smoothed using five-year means, it is apparent that air temperatures have risen sharply since 1987 (Scott, 2015). The mean air temperature at Rothamsted is now approximately 10.04°C which is 1.1°C higher than the 1878-1987 average. The 10 warmest years on record occurred in the last 17 years. Much of the rise is due to increases in the autumn and winter months, and in night time temperatures.


Daily temperature is measured over the 24 hour period 0900 to 0900 GMT.
Since first recorded in 1878, maximum temperature (TMAX) was measured using a mercury column thermometer and mimimum temperature (TMIN) using a spirit-in-glass with indicator bar minimum thermometer.
Since 2004, temperatures have been recorded automatically by thermistors (electronic temperature probes, Campbell Scientific, Type 107).


Meteorological station
Weather data
Air temperature
Climate change

Further Information

This version 1 is superceded by version 2 (1878-2019).

Updated from Scott (2015) see Key Reference below. For further information about the measurement of temperature at Rothamsted see Temperature.
Further details can be obtained from the e-RA curators, the Rothamsted Guide to the Classical Experiments (2006), pp 44-45, and the Key References below.

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Key References








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