Climate spectra and detecting climate change
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Part of the debate over possible climate changes centers on the possibility that the changes observed over the previous century are natural in origin. This raises the question of how large a change could be expected as a result of natural variability. If the climate measurement of interest is modelled as a stationary (or related) Gaussian time series, this question can be answered in terms of (a) the way in which change is estimated, and (b) the spectrum of the time series. These computations are illustrated for 128 years of global temperature data using some simple measures of change and for a variety of possible temperature spectra. The results highlight the time scales on which it is important to know the magnitude of natural variability. The uncertainties in estimates of trend are most sensitive to fluctuations in the temperature series with periods from approximately 50 to 500 years. For some of the temperature spectra, it was found that the standard error of the least squares trend estimate was 3 times the standard error derived under the naïve assumption that the temperature series was uncorrelated. The observed trend differs from zero by more than 3 times the largest of the calculated standard errors, however, and is therefore highly significant.
- Bloomfield, P.: 1992, ‘Trends in Global Temperature’, Climatic Change 21, 1–16.
- Bottomley, M., Folland, C. K., Hsiung, J., Newell, R. E., and Parker, D. E.: 1990, Global Ocean Surface Temperature Atlas, Bracknell, U.K. Meteorological Office.
- Folland, C. K., Karl, T. R., and Vinnikov, K. Ya.: 1990, ‘Observed Climatic Variations and Change’, in Houghton, J. T., Jenkins, G. J., and Ephraums, J. J. (eds.), Climate Change: The IPCC Scientific Assessment, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 195–238.
- Hansen, J. and Lebedeff, S: 1987, ‘Global Trends of Measured Surface Air Temperature’, J. Geophys. Res. 92, 13345–13372.
- Hansen, J. and Lebedeff, S.: 1988, ‘Global Surface Air Temperatures: Update through 1987’, Geophys. Res. Lett. 15, 323–326.
- Hosking, J. R. M.: 1981, ‘Fractional Differencing’, Biometrika 68, 165–176.
- Jones, P. D.: 1988, ‘Hemispheric Surface Air Temperature Variations: Recent Trends and an Update to 1987’, J. Clim. 1, 654–660.
- Jones, P. D., Raper, S. C. B., Bradley, R. S., Diaz, H. F., Kelly, P. M., and Wigley, T. M. L.: 1986a, ‘Northern Hemisphere Surface Air Temperature Variations, 1851–1984’, J. Climate Appl. Meteor. 25, 161–179.
- Jones, P. D., Raper, S. C. B., and Wigley, T. M. L.: 1986b, ‘Southern Hemisphere Surface Air Temperature Variations, 1851–1984’, J. Climate Appl. Meteor. 25, 1213–1230.
- Jones, P. D., Wigley, T. M. L., and Wright, P. B.: 1986c, ‘Global Temperature Variations, 1861–1984’, Nature 322, 430–434.
- Kutzbach, J. E. and Bryson, R. A.: 1974, ‘Variance Spectrum of Holocene Climatic Fluctuations in the North Atlantic Sector’, J. Atmos. Sci. 31, 1958–1963.
- Shackleton, N.J. and Imbrie, J.: 1990, ‘The δ18O Spectrum of Oceanic Deep Water over a Five-Decade Band’, Climatic Change 16, 217–230.
- Wigley, T. M. L. and Raper, S. C. B.: 1987, ‘Thermal Expansion of Sea Water Associated with Global Warming’, Nature 330, 127–131.
- Wigley, T. M. L., and Raper, S. C. B.: 1990a, ‘Natural Variability of the Climate System and Detection of the Greenhouse Effect’, Nature 344, 324–327.
- Wigley, T. M. L. and Raper, S. C. B.: 1990b, ‘Detection of the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect on Climate’, Paper presented at the Second World Climate Conference, Geneva.
- Climate spectra and detecting climate change
Volume 21, Issue 3 , pp 275-287
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors