, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 179-184

Breaking global temperature records after Mt. Pinatubo

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Abstract

The probability of setting global temperature records is reconsidered in light of cooling due to the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. The cooling ‘resets’ temperature by moving it away from the top of its 100-year range. Depending on the statistical model for temperature, this ‘reset’ can lead to a much lower probability for a record in the next few years. The exercise illustrates how record setting depends on the underlying model, the current record value, and - if there is serial correlation- the current temperature.