ICOADS Web information page (Wednesday, 11-May-2016 18:56:54 UTC):

English East India Co. (EEIC) Ship Logs (containing instrumental data)


Inspection of the English East India Company (EEIC) archives preserved in the British Library revealed 900 log-books of EEIC ships containing daily instrumental measurements of temperature and pressure, and subjective estimates of wind speed and direction, from voyages across the Atlantic and Indian Ocean between 1789 and 1834 (Figure 1). Though joint UK-US efforts, those records have been extracted, digitized, and translated into the IMMA format (assigned deck 248 and Source ID 148), providing 272,852 marine reports offering an unprecedentedly detailed view of the weather and climate of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (note: text partially adapted from Brohan et al. 2011).

Figure 2 illustrates the response of individual data elements to ICOADS "trimming" procedure, indicating for example that SST and humidity data, respectively, were almost entirely missing (a total of 711 SST observations were digitized) and entirely missing (no dew point/wet bulb temperature observations were found).


Figure 1. Location of the digitized EEIC observations.


Figure 2. Response of the EEIC data to the ICOADS trimming (QC) procedure, with results shown separately (note: these alternative results are revealed by activating the separate links within the figure caption) for these variables: sea surface temperature (SF), air temperature (AF), U-wind (UF), V-wind (VF), sea level pressure (PF), relative humidity (RF). See Figs. 7a-7f on this webpage for a more detailed explanation of the trimming flag values: icoads.noaa.gov/r2.5.html.


Brohan, P., R. Allan, E. Freeman, D. Wheeler, C. Wilkinson, and F. Williamson, 2011: Recovering climate records for 1789-1834 from English-East-India Company ship's logs (manuscript in preparation).

CDMP, 2011: English East India Company Logbook Digitization Keying Format Climate Database Modernization Program. NOAA/NCDC Climate Database Modernization program (pdf).

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Updated: May 11, 2016 18:56:54 UTC