Recent seasonal and long-term changes in southern Australian frost occurrence
- 622 Downloads
As part of part of a special issue on natural hazards, this paper explores recent changes in Australian minimum temperature extremes. Using minimum temperature data from the 112 observation locations making up the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) data set, as well as the Scientific Information for Land Owners (SILO) minimum temperature gridded data surface, we analyse and map trends in extreme minimum temperature indices across southern Australia at seasonal, annual and multi-decadal timeframes since 1960. Our analyses highlights that across southern Australia, despite a warming trend of 0.17 °C per decade since 1960 in the mean annual minimum temperature, there exist regions of localised cooling as well as a much broader spatially-coherent pattern of increasing “frost season” length. Our analysis identifies that the “frost season length” has, across the whole southern portion of Australia, increased on average by 26 days (at 2014) compared with the 1960 to 1990 long term mean. Some areas of south eastern Australia now experience their last frost an average four weeks later than in the 1960s (i.e. mean date of last frost for the period 1960 to 1970 was 19 September versus 23 October for the period 2000 to 2014). Over isolated portions of southern Australia (i.e. northern Victoria and southern New South Wales), the annual frequency of frost events occurring after August has increased by as much as 4 events per year over the last decade, with localised increases in the occurrence of consecutive frost days also observed. This analysis builds upon earlier more localised trend analyses work by these authors (Crimp et al. 2015), as well as a growing body of international research, highlighting a complex spatio-temporal pattern of temperature change despite a general pattern of annual warming in minimum temperatures.
KeywordsMinimum Temperature Western Australia Season Length South Australia Frost Event
The authors would like to acknowledge the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) for provision of its Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) data and the Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITIA) for provision of it SILO gridded minimum temperature date for analysis. We would also like to acknowledge that this research was made possible via financial support from the Managing Climate Variability Program (MCVP) as well as the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC). This paper was a result of collaboration through the ‘Trends and Extremes’ working group as part of the Australian Water and Energy Exchanges Initiative (OzEWEX).
- Alexander L, Hope P, Collins D, Trewin B, Lynch A, Nicholls N (2006a) Trends in Australia's climate means and extremes: a global context. Aust Meteorol Mag 56:1–18Google Scholar
- Alexander LV, Zhang X, Peterson TC, Caesar J, Gleason B, Klein Tank AMG, Haylock M, Collins D, Trewin B, Rahimzadeh F, Tagipour A, Rupa Kumar K, Revadekar J, Griffiths G, Vincent L, Stephenson DB, Burn J, Aguilar E, Brunet M, Taylor M, New M, Zhai P, Rusticucci M, Vazquez-Aguirre JL (2006b) Global observed changes in daily climate extremes of temperature and precipitation. Journal Geophysical Research 111:D05109. doi: 10.1029/2005JD006290 Google Scholar
- Australian Climate Observations Reference Network–Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) (2015) — Report of the Technical Advisory Forum, Commonwealth of Australia.Google Scholar
- Beesley CA, Frost AJ, and Zajaczkowski J. 2009. A comparison of the BAWAP and SILO spatially interpolated daily rainfall datasets. In 18th World IMACS/MODSIM Congress, (pp. 3886–3892). http://www.mssanz.org.au/modsim09/I13/beesley.pdf.
- BoM-CSIRO (2014) State of the Climate. P 16 http://www.bom.gov.au/state-of-the-climate/documents/state-of-the-climate-2014_low-res.pdf?ref=button
- Carter JO, Flood NF, Danaher T, Hugman P, Young R (1996) Development of data rasters for model inputs. In: Development of a national drought alert strategic information system, Vol. 4. Final Report on QPI 20 to LWRRDC.Google Scholar
- Cayan D, Kammerdiener SA, Dettinger MD, Caprio JM, Peterson DH (2001) Changes in the onset of spring in the western United States. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 82:399–415. doi: 10.1175/1520–0477(2001)082 < 0399:CITOOS > 2.3.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- CDO (2015) Climate Data Operators. Available at: http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/cdo.
- Cohen JL, Furtado JC, Barlow M, Alexeev VA, Cherry JE (2012) Asymmetric seasonal temperature trends. Geophys Res Lett 39(4):–L04705. doi: 10.1029/2011GL050582
- Collins D, Della-Marta P, Plummer N, Trewin B (2000) Trends in annual frequencies of extreme temperature events in Australia. Aust Meteorol Mag 49:277–292Google Scholar
- Della-Marta P, Collins D, Braganza K (2004) Updating Australia’s high-quality annual temperature dataset. Aust Meteorol Mag 53:75–93Google Scholar
- Hartmann DL, Klein Tank AMG, Rusticucci M, Alexander LV, Brönnimann S, Charabi Y, Dentener FJ, Dlugokencky EJ, Easterling DR, Kaplan A, Soden BJ, Thorne PW, Wisld M, Zhai PM (2013) In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Observations: atmosphere and surface. In Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK and New York, NYGoogle Scholar
- Hergel GC, Zwiers FW, Stott PA, Kharin VV (2004) Detectability of Anthropogenic Change in Annual Temperatures and Precipitation Extremes. Journal of Climate 17(19):3683–3700. doi: 10.1175/1520–0442(2004)017 < 3683:DOACIA > 2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- IPCC (2013) Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp, doi: 10.1017/CBO9781107415324.
- Kalma JD, Laughlin GP, Caprio JM, Hamer PJC (1992) Advances in bioclimatology, 2. The bioclimatology of frost. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, p 144Google Scholar
- MAFF, (2011) Recent frost trends in New Zealand. Technical Paper No 2011/1. ISSN 2230–2794.Google Scholar
- Murphy BF, Timbal B (2008) A review of recent climate variability and climate change in southeastern Australia. Int J Climatol 28:859–879. doi: 10.1002/joc.1627
- Mutiibwa D, Vavrus SJ, McAfee SA, Albright TP (2015) Recent spatiotemporal patterns in temperature extremes across conterminous United States. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 120:7378–7392Google Scholar
- NOAA, (2016) National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for March 2016, published online April 2016, retrieved on May 2, 2016 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201603.
- Power S, Tseitkin F, Torok S, Lavery B, Dahni R, McAvaney B (1998) Australian temperature, Australian rainfall and the Southern Oscillation Index, 1910-1992: coherent variability and recent changes. Aust Meteorol Mag 47:85–101Google Scholar
- Rayner DP, Moodie KB, Beswick AR, Clarkson NM, and Hutchinson RL. (2004) New Australian daily historical climate surfaces using CLIMARC. Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Report QNRME04247.Google Scholar
- Schulzweida, U. (2014) Climate Data Operators (Version 1.6.4). Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany. https://code.zmaw.de/projects/cdo/.
- Stone RC, Nicholls N, Hammer G (1996) Frost in Northeast Australia: trends and influences of phases of the southern oscillation. J Clim 9(8):1896–1909. doi: 10.1175/1520--0442(1996)009<1896:FINATA > 2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Trewin BC. (2012) Techniques used in developing the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network—Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) dataset. CAWCR Technical Report 49. Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Melbourne, 92 pp. Available at http://cawcr.gov.au/publications/technicalreports/CTR_049.pdf . Accessed 1 January 2015.
- Zheng B, Chapman SC, Christopher JT, Fredricks TM, Chenu K (2015) Frost trends and their estimated impact on yield in the Australian wheatbelt. J Exp Bot. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv163