Long term measurements from several lidar instruments, located at 44.0 degrees N, 40.6 degrees N, 34.4 degrees N, and 19.5 degrees N, were used to develop a new climatology of the middle atmosphere temperature. For each instrument, the measurements on every day of the year over the entire record were averaged to build a composite year of temperature profiles. The lidar climatologies were compared to the CIRA-86 model which appears to be systematically too cold between 90 and 95 km, by greater than or equal to 20 K, and possibly 6 - 8 K too warm around 80 km, making its use as a reference questionable at these altitudes. The annual and semi-annual components of the seasonal variability and the 2- to 33-day period variability were also investigated. An annual cycle with 6 - 7 K amplitude in the upper stratosphere, increasing to 15 - 20 K at 80 km, is observed at mid-latitudes. At lower latitudes, a semiannual oscillation (SAO) propagates downward from 85 to 30 km and is characterized by a stronger first cycle than the second (4 K and 2 K amplitude). The 2- to 33- day variability at mid-latitudes shows a maximum during winter around 40 km and in the mesosphere. Finally, sudden seasonal transitions, highly consistent between all instruments, have been observed, in particular in the early winter mid-latitudes with a two-step warming of the mesosphere between 65 and 85 km.