Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 101, Issue 3–4, pp 311–327 | Cite as

Trend analysis of long-term temperature time series in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

  • Tanzina Mohsin
  • William A. Gough
Original Paper


As the majority of the world’s population is living in urban environments, there is growing interest in studying local urban climates. In this paper, for the first time, the long-term trends (31–162 years) of temperature change have been analyzed for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Annual and seasonal time series for a number of urban, suburban, and rural weather stations are considered. Non-parametric statistical techniques such as Mann–Kendall test and Theil-Sen slope estimation are used primarily for the assessing of the significance and detection of trends, and the sequential Mann test is used to detect any abrupt climate change. Statistically significant trends for annual mean and minimum temperatures are detected for almost all stations in the GTA. Winter is found to be the most coherent season contributing substantially to the increase in annual minimum temperature. The analyses of the abrupt changes in temperature suggest that the beginning of the increasing trend in Toronto started after the 1920s and then continued to increase to the 1960s. For all stations, there is a significant increase of annual and seasonal (particularly winter) temperatures after the 1980s. In terms of the linkage between urbanization and spatiotemporal thermal patterns, significant linear trends in annual mean and minimum temperature are detected for the period of 1878–1978 for the urban station, Toronto, while for the rural counterparts, the trends are not significant. Also, for all stations in the GTA that are situated in all directions except south of Toronto, substantial temperature change is detected for the periods of 1970–2000 and 1989–2000. It is concluded that the urbanization in the GTA has significantly contributed to the increase of the annual mean temperatures during the past three decades. In addition to urbanization, the influence of local climate, topography, and larger scale warming are incorporated in the analysis of the trends.


Urban Heat Island Kendall Test Rural Station Temperature Time Series Urban Heat Island Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Physical and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Toronto at ScarboroughScarboroughCanada

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