Climatic Change

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 405-417

First online:

Climate Shifts during the Last Century

  • K. FraedrichAffiliated withMeteorologisches Institut, Universität Hamburg
  • , F.-W. GerstengarbeAffiliated withPotsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung e.V., Telegrafenberg
  • , P. C. WernerAffiliated withPotsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung e.V., Telegrafenberg

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Fluctuations of the land surface areas covered by Koeppen climates are analysed for the 1901 to 1995 period using trends and outliers as indicators of climate shift. Only the extreme climate zones of the global Tropics and of the Tundra (with the highly correlated northern hemisphere temperature) realise statistically significant shifts and outliers. There are nosignificant trends and outliers in the fluctuating ocean-atmosphere patterns (Pacific Decadal and North Atlantic Oscillations) and the highly correlated intermediate climate zones (dry, subtropical and boreal) of the surrounding continents.