Climate researchers at Britain's University of East Anglia announced they've made the world's temperature records available via Google Earth.
Google Earth users will be able to scroll around the world, zoom in on 6,000 weather stations, and view monthly, seasonal and annual temperature data more easily than ever before, they said.
Google Earth will bring the Climatic Research Unit Temperature Version 4 land-surface air temperature data set -- one of the most widely used records of the climate system -- to users' computers, they said.
"The beauty of using Google Earth is that you can instantly see where the weather stations are, zoom in on specific countries, and see station data sets much more clearly," Tim Osborn of the university's Climatic Research Unit said.
Users will have access to some 20,000 graphs, some of which show temperature records dating back to 1850, he said.
"The data itself comes from the latest CRUTEM4 figures, which have been freely available on our website and via the Met Office," he said. "But we wanted to make this key temperature data set as interactive and user-friendly as possible."
The Google Earth interface shows the globe split into 5-degree latitude and longitude grid boxes; clicking on a grid box reveals the area's annual temperatures, as well as links to more detailed downloadable station data.