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The temperature in Bremen since 1803 – embedding data fragments into homogeneous time series

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Over several decades the physician and astronomer Wilhelm Olbers (*1758, †1840) has written many manuscripts to meteorological topics. Few of his works were published, most fell into oblivion, so also Olbers' measurements of temperature and pressure from the years 1803–1822, although these meteorological observations are the first continuous and reliable measurements of this kind in Bremen. This article deals with the monthly and annually averaged temperatures from 1803 to 1822, which are taken from the literary legacy of Olbers and are partially reconstructed from his manuscripts. The linkage of this series of measurements to the well-known Bremen temperature series is discussed, which begins in 1829 and is today continued by the German Weather Service (DWD). The method we propose for the adjustment of the combined data (with a gap of 6 years 1823 to 1828) is based on the extremely high correlation which the annually averaged data of the Bremen time series has with corresponding data from other monitoring sites. Data from De Bilt, Berlin, Prague, Hohenpeissenberg and Stockholm are used. The result is a temperature time series for Bremen from 1803 to today, which may be regarded as homogeneous at least to some extent.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-02-01

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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