Climatic Change

, 98:199 | Cite as

Recent trends in temperature and precipitation over the Balearic Islands (Spain)

Article

Abstract

Changes in climatic parameters are often given in terms of global averages even though large regional variability is generally observed. The study of regional tendencies provides not only supplementary conclusions to more large-scale oriented results but is also of particular interest to local policy-makers and resource managers to have detailed information regarding sensible and influential climatic parameters. In this study, changes in precipitation for the Balearic Islands (Spain) have been analyzed using data from 18 rain gauges with complete daily time series during the period 1951–2006 and two additional sites where only monthly totals were available. Tendencies for maximum and minimum 2-m temperatures have also been derived using data from three thermometric stations with daily time series for the period 1976–2006. The thermometric stations are located at the head of the runways in the airports of the three major islands of the archipelago, where urbanization has arguably not had a relevant impact on the registered values. The annual mean temperature in the mid-troposphere and lower stratosphere has also been analyzed using the Balearics radiosonde data for the period 1981–2006. Results show there is a negative tendency for annual precipitation (163 mm per century) with 85% significance on the sign of the trend. An abrupt decrease in mean yearly precipitation of 65 mm is objectively detected in the time series around 1980. Additionally, the analysis shows that light and heavy daily precipitation (up to 4 mm and above 64 mm, respectively) increase their contribution to the total annual, while the share from moderate-heavy precipitations (16–32 mm) is decreasing. Regarding the thermometric records, minimum temperatures increased at a rate of 5.8°C per century during the 31 years and maximum temperatures also increased at a rate of 5.0°C per century, both having a level of statistical significance for the sign of the linear trend above 99%. Temperatures in the mid-troposphere decreased at a rate of − 5.4°C per century while a tendency of − 7.8°C per century is found in the lower stratosphere. The level of statistical significance for the sign of both the tropospheric and stratospheric linear trends is above 98% despite the great inter-annual variability of both series.

Keywords

Ordinary Little Square Diurnal Temperature Range Lower Stratosphere Balearic Island Precipitation Series 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Group of Meteorology, Departament de FísicaUniversitat de les Illes BalearsPalma de MallorcaSpain

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