A history of the world in 1,399,120,833 observations


This video shows the locations of the weather (surface pressure) observations being used to reconstruct global weather and climate. Observations coverage (1851-2008) in version 3.2.9 of the International Surface Pressure Databank (that used in the Twentieth Century Reanalysis version 2c).

Videos like this can be a very useful tool in exploratory data anlaysis, understanding patterns in the data that we use, and may help us ascertain the need for certain model choices.¬†For example, early in this observation history a majority of the data comes from shipping routes – but the shipping route locations depend on wind patterns which in turn depend on the surface pressure that they’re measuring! This might suggest to a modeller that care needs to be taken when considering¬†how to model the locations of the ship observed data and some dependence between the observations and the locations may need to be explicitly modeled.

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