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Kaplan Extended SST V2

The Kaplan SST data has been converted from an integer*2 packed netCDF3 file to an unpacked netCDF4-classic file. Information on netCDF4 is available.

Brief Description:

  • Gridded global SST anomalies from 1856-present derived from UK Met Office SST data which has had sophisticated statistical techniques applied to it to fill in gaps. More Details...

Temporal Coverage:

  • 01/1856 to 2015/01

Spatial Coverage:

  • 5.0 degree latitude by 5.0 degree longitude global grid (72x36).
  • 87.5S - 87.5N, 2.5E - 357.5E.


  • Sea Surface

Update Schedule:

  • Monthly

Download/Plot Data:

Variable Statistic Level Download File Create Plot/Subset
Sea Surface Temperature Monthly Anomaly Surface plot

Usage Restrictions:

  • None

Detailed Description:

  • This data set is produced by taking the the MOHSST5 version of the GOSTA data set from the U.K. MET office as the input SST data set to various processing steps. These steps include EOF projection, Optimal Interpolation (OI), Kalman Filter (KF) forecast, KF analysis, and an Optimal Smoother (OS). Thus these techniques fill in any missing data using both spatial patterns derived from the data that exists together with time interpolation. The data set is stored on a 5x5 grid and consists of monthly anomalies from 1856-present. Anomalies are based on the 1951-1980 time period. Here is a complete description of the data set from the originators ( Note that this version is the most current and the old version of dataset was replaced on 2002 by the author's new "extended" version.


  • None

Related File Naming & Structure Information:

File Names:

  •   (In directory: /Datasets/kaplan_sst/)

OpenDap File Names:


Dataset Format and Size:

  • PSD standard NetCDF 9.1 Mbyte file the each monthly file (packed).

Missing Data:

  • Missing Values flagged with a value of 32766s.


  • Please note: If you acquire Kaplan SST V2 data products from PSD, we ask that you acknowledge us in your use of the data. This may be done by including text such as Kaplan SST V2 data provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their Web site at in any documents or publications using these data. We would also appreciate receiving a copy of the relevant publications. This will help PSD to justify keeping the Kaplan SST V2 data set freely available online in the future. Thank you!


  • Kaplan, A., M. Cane, Y. Kushnir, A. Clement, M. Blumenthal, and B. Rajagopalan, Analyses of global sea surface temperature 1856-1991, Journal of Geophysical Research, 103, 18,567-18,589, 1998
  • Parker, D.E., P.D. Jones, C.K. Folland, and A. Bevan, 1994: Interdecadal changes of surface temperature since the late nineteenth century, J. Geophys. Res., 99, 14,373-14,399.
  • Reynolds, R.W., and T.M. Smith, 1994: Improved global sea surface temperature analysis using optimum interpolation. J. Climate, 7, 929-948.

Original Source:

  • Alexey Kaplan, Yochanan Kushnir, Mark A. Cane, and M. Benno Blumenthal
    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
    Palisades, NY 10964.
  • Data description and download from IRI.


  • Physical Sciences Division: Data Management
    325 Broadway
    Boulder, CO 80305-3328