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CRUTEM (Climatic Research Unit TEMperature) is a gridded dataset of global historical near-surface air temperature anomalies over land at a monthly timescale. It is a collaborative product of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. CRUTEM also contributes the land air temperature station data to the global (land and ocean) temperature dataset called HadCRUT. CRUTEM5 is the fifth major version of the dataset, covering the time period from 1850, with a spatial resolution of 5° latitude by 5° longitude and a monthly-mean time resolution. The gridded temperature anomaly fields are based on a compilation of monthly-mean temperature observational records from weather stations. This compilation contains 10639 station records, but only 7983 records had the necessary coverage to be used for producing the gridded dataset. Anomalies are differences from average conditions in the 1961-1990 period. Hemispheric and global mean time series of land air temperature anomalies are also provided.