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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-234
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-234
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: data description paper 12 Dec 2019

Submitted as: data description paper | 12 Dec 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

Early instrumental meteorological observations in Switzerland: 1708–1873

Yuri Brugnara1,2, Lucas Pfister1,2, Leonie Villiger1,2,3, Christian Rohr1,4, Francesco Alessandro Isotta5, and Stefan Brönnimann1,2 Yuri Brugnara et al.
  • 1Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 4Institute of History, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 5Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. We describe a dataset of recently digitised meteorological observations from 40 locations in today's Switzerland, covering the 18th and 19th century. Three fundamental variables – temperature, pressure, and precipitation – are provided in a standard format, after they have been converted into modern units and quality controlled. The raw data produced by the digitisation, often including additional variables and annotations, are also provided. Digitisation was performed by manually typing the data from photographs of the original sources, which were in most cases handwritten weather diaries. These observations will be important for studying past climate variability in Central Europe and in the Alps, although the general scarcity of metadata (e.g., detailed information on the instruments and their exposure) implies that some caution is required when using the data.

Yuri Brugnara et al.
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Yuri Brugnara et al.
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Short summary
Early instrumental meteorological observation in Switzerland made before 1863, the year a national station network was created, were, until recently, largely unexplored. After a systematic compilation of the documents available in Swiss archives, we digitized a large part of the data so that they can be used in climate research. In this paper we give an overview of the development of meteorological observations in Switzerland and describe our approach to convert them into modern units.
Early instrumental meteorological observation in Switzerland made before 1863, the year a...
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