Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 132, Issue 1–2, pp 403–418 | Cite as

Urban and peri-urban precipitation and air temperature trends in mega cities of the world using multiple trend analysis methods

  • Aws A. Ajaaj
  • Ashok K. MishraEmail author
  • Abdul A. Khan
Original Paper


Urbanization plays an important role in altering local to regional climate. In this study, the trends in precipitation and the air temperature were investigated for urban and peri-urban areas of 18 mega cities selected from six continents (representing a wide range of climatic patterns). Multiple statistical tests were used to examine long-term trends in annual and seasonal precipitation and air temperature for the selected cities. The urban and peri-urban areas were classified based on the percentage of land imperviousness. Through this study, it was evident that removal of the lag-k serial correlation caused a reduction of approximately 20 to 30% in significant trend observability for temperature and precipitation data. This observation suggests that appropriate trend analysis methodology for climate studies is necessary. Additionally, about 70% of the urban areas showed higher positive air temperature trends, compared with peri-urban areas. There were not clear trend signatures (i.e., mix of increase or decrease) when comparing urban vs peri-urban precipitation in each selected city. Overall, cities located in dry areas, for example, in Africa, southern parts of North America, and Eastern Asia, showed a decrease in annual and seasonal precipitation, while wetter conditions were favorable for cities located in wet regions such as, southeastern South America, eastern North America, and northern Europe. A positive relationship was observed between decadal trends of annual/seasonal air temperature and precipitation for all urban and peri-urban areas, with a higher rate being observed for urban areas.


Urban and peri-urban areas Dry season Wet season Serial correlation Trend analysis 



The authors would like acknowledge the Higher Committee for Education Development, Iraq, for sponsoring this work. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments that helped us to improve the quality of our manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aws A. Ajaaj
    • 1
  • Ashok K. Mishra
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abdul A. Khan
    • 1
  1. 1.Glenn Department of Civil EngineeringClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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