Datasets Useful for ENSO Research

Sea Surface Temperature (SST)

Gridded SST datasets are available for monthly means and for daily. Values can be mean or anomalies. Gaps usually exist in SST dataets both in space and time. Different datasets use different models to fill in gaps.

Datasets Areal Coverage Grid Size Time Step Time Coverage Levels
[an error occurred while processing this directive] Global5.0°x5.0° Monthly1850-2013None
ICOADS Global2.0°x2.0°,1.0°x1.0° Monthly1800-presentNone
Kaplan SST Global5.0°x5.0° Monthly1856-presentNone
NCEP GODAS ocean analysis Global.3°x.3° Monthly1980-present 40
NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis Global2.5°x2.5°, T42 Gaussian, T62 spectral 4X Daily, Daily, Monthly1948-present17 pressure levels, 28 spectral
NOAA Extended Reconstructed SST V5 Global1.0°x1.0° Monthly1854-presentNone
NOAA High-resolution Blended Analysis of Daily SST and Ice. Global.25°x.25° Daily1981-present None
NOAA Global Surface Temperature (NOAAGlobalTemp) Global5.0°x5.0° Daily1880-presentNone
NOAA Optimum Interpolation (OI) SST V2 Global1.0°x1.0° Monthly,Weekly1981-presentNone
COBE-SST Global1.0°x1.0° Monthly1891-presentNone
COBE-SST2 Sea Surface Temperature Global1.0°x1.0° Monthly1850-2012None
NODC (Levitus) World Ocean Atlas 1998 Global1.0°x1.0° Monthly,AnnualClimoNone

Outgoing Long Wave Radiation (OLR)

OLR is a measure of tropical convection and has been available via satellite observations since the early 1970's. We make available gridded interpolated values as well as the provided directly from NCEP (which are more recent).

Datasets Areal Coverage Grid Size Time Step Time Coverage Levels
Interpolated OLR Global2.5°x2.5° Daily,Monthly1979-near presentNone
Uninterpolated OLR Global2.5°x2.5° Daily1991-presentNone


For ENSO, precipitation is both associated with changed forcing in the tropics and also is a response to changed flow over the globe.

Datasets Areal Coverage Grid Size Time Step Time Coverage Levels
GPCP V2.3 Precipitation Global2.5°x2.5° Daily,Monthly1979-near presentNone
Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) Global2.5°x2.5° Daily1991-presentNone
NOAA's Precipitation Reconstruction (PREC) Global2.5°x2.5° Monthly1979-presentNone

Climate Indices relating to ENSO

While ENSO is a process that varies both in space and time, it can be convenient to use single time series to represent in monitoring and analysis. Some of these time series are SST averages in a specific region of the tropical Pacific while others use more than 1 variable to attempt to capture more of the dynamical processes that occur in ENSO. Some indices measure the diffrences between events.

Name Region Date Range
Oceanic Niño Index (ONI)SST 5N-5S, 170W-120W1950-present
Niño 1.2 SST 0-10S, 90W-80W1870-present
Niño 3 SST 5N-5S, 150W-90W1870-present
Niño 3.4 SST 5N-5S, 170W-120W1870-present
Niño 4SST 5N-5S, 160E-150W1870-present
Multivariate ENSO index: MEI V2Tropical Pacific1979-present
Extended Multivariate ENSO index: MEI.extTropical Pacific1871-2005
Trans-Niño Index (TNI)Difference Niño 1.2 and Niña 41870-present
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI)Difference of Surface Pressure of Tahiti and Darwin1870-present

Other Datasets

As ENSO impacts weather and climate in general, researchers need to potentially look at all atmospheric and ocean variables. PSL maintains an extensive collection of gridded datasets including our NOAA-CIRES-DOE Twenthieth Century Reanalysis V3. Other dataset can be found from links on PSL's data information webpage. Some other NOAA sites also link to ENSO related datasets: for example, NOAA/CPC has an ENSO data/info list.