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I am looking for a dataset that provides me with one (or a few, e.g. summer and winter average day temperature) average temperature per year per country. I am aware that there are quite a few ways this could be calculated (and I can provide further details on what my preference would be), but any dataset that provides me with one (or a few) temperature datapoint per country per year would likely be useful.

(I would prefer each temperature to be an average over major cities or over the population, but a value for the capital or averaged over the area of the country would probably also work. The dataset should be fairly complete (200+ countries, all years 1990-2012). Preferred temperature would be Dry Bulb Temperature. I am aware of http://data.un.org/Explorer.aspx?d=CLINO , but using that would likely require looking up the GIS data for weather stations and cities in each country. Ideally I would like to avoid GIS and simply be able to look up temperatures based on country name.)

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There is a climate data set from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, here:

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/hrg/cru_ts_3.23/crucy.1506241137.v3.23

It covers 1901-2014, with variables broken down by country at monthly, quarterly and annual resolution. The format, though largely self-explanatory, is described in the readme.

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The World Bank's Climate Change Portal does by-country historical trends graphically, although I'm not sure if their data sets are too granular for you.

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    I was not able to find the actual data, it looks like they stopped updating the website in 2011 (the promised a dataset for early 2012). – Rob Hall Aug 11 '15 at 0:41
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The World Bank provides an annual average of daily min / max temperatures broken down by countries in a convenient dataset (together with a lot of other variables): http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/climate-change

There is also an API which can produce monthly as well as yearly temperature and precipitation averages by country, but for some reason they say the last available year is 1999, which is disappointing: http://data.worldbank.org/developers/climate-data-api

I will keep looking to see if I find a more comprehensive dataset.

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    I tried the Bulk Download option (Excel file, same data as the API). It has for each country a value for Average daily min/max temperature (1961-1990, Celsius), and a value for Projected annual temperature change (2045-2065, Celsius). Conclusion: It does not contain the data asked for in the question. – Nicolas Raoul Aug 11 '15 at 6:12

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