What is monthly mean land surface air temperature?

Xubin Zeng, Aihui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Land surface air temperature is one of the fundamental variables in weather and climate observations, modeling, and applications. Its monthly mean has been computed as the average of daily maximum and minimum temperatures [Jones et al., 1999]. This is different from the true monthly mean temperature, which is defined as the integral of the continuous temperature measurements in a month divided by the integration period and can be very accurately represented using hourly data, as has long been recognized [e.g., Brooks, 1921]. We argue, from scientific, technological, and historical perspectives, that it is time to compute the true monthly mean using hourly data for the national and international climate data record.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156
Number of pages1
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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