Seven years (2008-2014) of meteorological observations plus a synthetic El Nino drought for BCI Panama.

Author(s): Powell T; Faybishenko B; Kueppers L; Paton S

Dataset Information


Site Name: Barro Colorado Island (BCI)

Variables: Air Temperature; Barometric pressure; Longwave radiation; Precipitation (rainfall); Relative humidity; Shortwave radiation; Wind speed/direction

Date Range: Jan. 1, 2008 - Dec. 31, 2014

Description: This dataset is a derivative product of raw meteorological data collected at Barro Colorado Island, Panama (see acknowledgements below). This dataset contains the following: 1) a seven-year record (2008-2014) of meteorological observations from BCI that is in a comma delimited text format, 2) an R-script that converts the observed meteorology into an hdf5 format that can be read by the ED2 model, 3) two decades of meteorological drivers in hdf5 format that are based on the 7-year record of observations and include a synthetic 2-yr El Nino drought, 4) a ReadMe.txt file that explains how the data in the hdf5 meteorological drivers correspond to the observations. The raw meteorological data were further QC'd as part of the NGEE-Tropics project to derive item 1 above. The R-script makes the appropriate unit conversions for all observed meteorological variables to be compatible with the ED2 model. The R-script also converts RH into specific humidity, splits total shortwave radiation into its 4-stream parts, and calculates longwave radiation from air temperature and RH. The synthetic El Nino drought is based on selected months from the observed meteorology where in each, precipitation (only) of the selected months was modified to reflect the precipitation patterns of the 1982/83 El Nino observed at BCI.


Methods Description: Steven Paton QA'd the data. Boris Faybishenko QC'd the data for spurious spikes, linear trends, and gap-filling.

Access Level: Public

Originating Institution(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (See acknowledgements below for the source of the original raw data)

Sponsor Organization(s): Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research

Contact: Powell, Thomas - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (

Data Download

Version: 1.0

Dataset Citation: Powell T; Faybishenko B; Kueppers L; Paton S (2019): Seven years (2008-2014) of meteorological observations plus a synthetic El Nino drought for BCI Panama.. 1.0. NGEE Tropics Data Collection. (dataset).

Acknowledgement: The original raw meteorological data were obtained from the publicly accessible data archive of the Smithsonian Institution and were collected at Barro Colorado Island, Panama, under the Physical Monitoring Program of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. We are also grateful to the NGEE-Tropics data team for assistance in obtaining, processing and gaining permission to use the data.

Data Link: Download Dataset

NGEE Tropics data policy.


Powell T.L., Koven C.D., Johnson D.J., Faybishenko B., Fisher R.A., Knox R.G., McDowell N.G.,Condit R., Hubbell S.P., Wright S.J., Chambers J.Q., Kueppers L.M. (2018) Variation in hydroclimate sustains tropical forest biomass and promotes functional diversity. New Phytologist. DOI: 10.1111/nph.15271