Dataset: Annual Mean Air Temperature at Rothamsted 1878-2019

Citation:  Sarah Perryman, Tony Scott, Chris Hall (2020). Annual Mean Air Temperature at Rothamsted 1878-2019 Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research 10.23637/rms-RMAAtemp-02
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Annual Mean Rothamsted Temperature 1878-2019 (figure)

Annual Mean Rothamsted Temperature 1878-2019 (figure)


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 1878-2019. 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.


Summary data used for this chart are derived from annual daily data measured at Rothamsted Meteorological Station. The mean daily temperature is measured over a 24-hour period 0900 to 0900 GMT and calculated from the daily maximum (Tmax) and minimum temperatures (Tmin); the mean daily temperature = (Tmax = Tmin)/2.

Technical Information

First recorded in 1878, Tmax was then measured using a mercury column thermometer and 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).

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  • Sarah Perryman: Data curator
  • Margaret Glendining: Data curator
  • Andrew Macdonald: Project manager
  • Richard Ostler: Project leader
  • Tony Scott: Data collector
  • Nathalie Castells: Data manager
  • Chris Hall: Data collector

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Creative Commons License This dataset is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (4.0).

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YOU MUST CITE AS: Sarah Perryman, Tony Scott, Chris Hall (2020). Dataset: Annual Mean Air Temperature at Rothamsted 1878-2019 Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research

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  • The dataset Annual Mean Air Temperature at Rothamsted 1878-2019 is a published dataset from the e-RA Database. e-RA is part of the Rothamsted Long-Term Experiments - National Bioscience Research Infrastructure (RLTE-NBRI), which also covers maintenance of the Long-Term Experiments, the Rothamsted Sample Archive and Rothamsted's environmental monitoring activities including the weather stations and its role in the UK Environmental Change Network
  • The RLTE-NBRI is funded by UK Research and Innovation - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UKRI-BBSRC) under award BBS/E/RH/23NB0007 (2023-2028). The RLTE-NBRI is also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust. e-RA has been part of a National Capability since 2012, previous awards from the BBSRC were Grants BBS/E/C/00005189 (2012-2017) and BBS/E/C/000J0300 (2017-2022)
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For further information and assistance, please contact the e-RA curators, Sarah Perryman and Margaret Glendining using the e-RA email address: