New publication: Jens Esmark’s Christiania (Oslo) meteorological observations 1816–1838: the first long-term continuous temperature record from the Norwegian capital homogenized and analysed

Geir Hestmark* and Øyvind Nordli§ in Climate of the past


In 2010 we rediscovered the complete set of meteorological observation protocols made by Jens Esmark (1762–1839) during his years of residence in the Norwegian capital of Oslo (then Christiania). From 1 January 1816 to 25 January 1839, Esmark at his house in Øvre Voldgate in the morning, early afternoon and late evening recorded air temperature with state-of-the-art thermometers. He also noted air pressure, cloud cover, precipitation and wind directions, and experimented with rain gauges and hygrometers. From 1818 to the end of 1838 he twice a month provided weather tables to the official newspaper Den Norske Rigstidende, and thus acquired a semi-official status as the first Norwegian state meteorologist. This paper evaluates the quality of Esmark’s temperature observations and presents new metadata, new homogenization and analysis of monthly means. Three significant shifts in the measurement series were detected, and suitable corrections are proposed. The air temperature in Oslo during this period is shown to exhibit a slow rise from 1816 towards 1825, followed by a slighter fall again towards 1838.

Published online 18 November 2016
Volume 12, 2087–2106, 2016
Publication webpage.

*Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, CEES, Dept. of Biosciences, UiO
§Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway), Research and Development Department, Division for Model and Climate Analysis

Tags: Climate of the past;
Published Nov. 25, 2016 9:44 AM - Last modified Dec. 1, 2016 2:47 PM