Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Best practices for reporting climate data in ecology

A large number of published ecological studies fail to include basic information about the climate data used. In the interest of reproducibility and transparency, we offer recommendations for best practices that we urge Editors, authors, and reviewers to adopt in future publications.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Trends over time in reporting practices.

References

  1. 1.

    Cheng, L. et al. Ecol. Lett. 13, 284–291 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Reichman, O. J., Jones, M. B. & Schildhauer, M. P. Science 331, 703–705 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Karl, T. R. et al. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 77, 279–292 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Hijmans, R. J., Cameron, S. E., Parra, J. L., Jones, P. G. & Jarvis, A. Int. J. Climatol. 25, 1965–1978 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Groisman, P. Y., Legates, D. R., Groisman, P. Y. & Legates, D. R. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 75, 215–227 (1994).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Oyler, J. W., Dobrowski, S. Z., Ballantyne, A. P., Klene, A. E. & Running, S. W. Geophys. Res. Lett. 42, 153–161 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Date and Time Formats (W3C, 1997); http://go.nature.com/2AjU0cw

  8. 8.

    Climate-data-reporting (Github, 2017); http://go.nature.com/2z8mOWZ

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank P. Papper for help with data collection, S. Veloz and T. Dawson for comments that improved this manuscript, and M. Schildhauer for discussions on ecological metadata language. N.M.H. acknowledges support from a Villum Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF96) for support to the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate. The research was further supported by NSF Research Grants to A.H.T. (DEB-1354552) and S.N.S. (DBI-1523866), and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Grants to M.F.O. (#DGE-1106400), M.M.K., and R.L.O. (#1049702).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

N.M.H., M.F.O., R.L.O., A.P.W., C.R.L., M.M.K., E.C.R., C.M. and D.D.A. designed the study. N.M.H., M.F.O., R.L.O., A.P.W., C.R.L., S.N.S., M.M.K., E.C.R., C.M. and A.H.T. collected the data. N.M.H. analysed the data, and wrote the paper with D.D.A. M.M.K. and C.M. contributed to analysis and data visualizations. All authors contributed to editing of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Naia Morueta-Holme.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Methods

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Morueta-Holme, N., Oldfather, M.F., Olliff-Yang, R.L. et al. Best practices for reporting climate data in ecology. Nature Clim Change 8, 92–94 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-017-0060-2

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing