Met Office Hadley Centre observations datasets
Home >Deprecated datasets >

Met Office Historical Sea-Surface Temperature (MOHSST) dataset

You probably don't want MOHSST, use HadSST2 instead.

This dataset is provided for the sole purpose of direct comparison with earlier work where MOHSST was used. Use on its own is contrary to the terms and conditions.

MOHSST, (Met Office Historical Sea-Surface Temperature) is a gridded dataset of sea-surface temperature anomalies covering the period 1856-present. The current version of the dataset is MOHSST6, which is described in the paper cited in the reference section below.

MOHSST has now been superceeded by HadSST2. We now recommend use of HadSST2 instead of MOHSST for all purposes. MOHSST is only still available in case it is needed for direct comparison with earlier work where MOHSST was used. MOHSST is no longer updated or developed.

Brief description of the data

MOHSST is produced by taking in-situ measurements of SST from ships and buoys, rejecting measurements which which fail quality checks, converting the measurements to anomalies by subtracting climatological values from the measurements, and averaging the resulting anomalies on a 5 by 5 degree monthly grid.

Up to 1996 the measurements used are those in the U.K. Marine Data Bank; more recent years use data coming in through the GTS.

After gridding the anomalies, bias corrections are applied to remove spurious trends caused by changes in SST measuring practices, and the data are smoothed to reduce noise. This produces the MOHSST6D dataset, which is available here.

For a more detailed description of the dataset and its production process, see the paper cited below in the reference section.

MOHSST6D sea surface temperature anomaly August 2003

Go to download page Data are available from the download page without charge for the purposes of private study and scientific research, but please read the terms and conditions.

Commercial and media enquiries

You can access the Met Office Customer Centre, any time of the day or night by phone, fax or e-mail. Trained staff will help you find the information or products that are right for you.
Contact the Met Office Customer Centre


When using the data set in a paper, the following is the correct citation to use:

Marine Surface Temperature: Observed variations and data requirements, D.E. Parker, C.K. Folland and M. Jackson, Climatic Change 31: 559-600, 1995

Dataset produced in collaboration with:

Met Office