The CERES Data

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Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I do a very large percentage of my work using CERES data. What is CERES? From their website:

Climate is controlled by the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth and the amount of infrared energy emitted to space. These quantities–together with their difference–define Earth’s radiation budget (ERB). The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project provides satellite-based observations of ERB and clouds. It uses measurements from CERES instruments flying on several satellites along with data from many other instruments to produce a comprehensive set of ERB data products for climate, weather and applied science research.

The data is composed of a number of individual datasets of things like the amount of sunlight reflected by the earth, the incoming solar energy from the sun, the upwelling longwave from the surface, and a host of others.

Each dataset is a 1° latitude by 1° longitude gridcell-based month-by-month record of a given quantity.

While this is good, it makes for large datasets. Each of the various datasets is 16,329,600 individual data points …

Plus, they’re only available in the .netcdf format. This is a marvelous format because it can contain all kinds of metadata and specifications of the dataset … but it’s not easy to read.

Now I use the computer language “R” to work with this data. But for most folks, this isn’t an option.

So today, I decided to provide, not the gridded data, but the monthly averages of the gridded data. I’ve split it into two Excel (.xlsx) documents. One is the monthly record of the full data for the variable, and the other is monthly record of the data residual, what remains after the seasonal variations are removed. The data covers March 2000 to February 2021. In each Excel file, I’ve given global, northern hemisphere, and southern hemisphere data. This gives results like the following:

So there you have it. Links to the data are below. Explore it, tell us what you found. If you have questions, askem, and most of all …

… enjoy.


The Full Data: CERES Data 2000 2021.xlsx

The Residual Data: CERES Data 2000 2021 Residual.xlsx





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