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Variability and trends of heating degree-days in Argentina

Authors

  • M. Elizabeth Castañeda,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos—FCEN, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
    2. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas CONICET, Argentina
      M. Elizabeth Castañeda, Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Intendente Guiraldes 2160, Ciudad Universitaria, Pabellón II, Piso 2, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. E-mail: eliza@at.fcen.uba.ar
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  • Federico Claus

    1. Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos—FCEN, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
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M. Elizabeth Castañeda, Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Intendente Guiraldes 2160, Ciudad Universitaria, Pabellón II, Piso 2, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. E-mail: eliza@at.fcen.uba.ar

Abstract

This study analyses heating degree-days (HDDs) in Argentina during the period 1900–2008. Gridded temperature data provided by the University of Delaware were analysed to calculate monthly and annual cumulative HDDs. Mean, maximum and minimum values as well as the average duration of the heating season are used to characterize the mean features of the region. Spatial variations are driven by latitude and altitude. The analysis of the temporal distribution of HDDs reveals that the centre of the mean heating season varies from mid-June to mid-July. The length of the cold season grows with increasing latitude and westward with increasing altitude. In the high Andes, the heating season extends all year round. S-mode principal component analysis is used to identify sub-groups of grid points with similar temporal variability. Negative trends in annual cumulative HDDs are detected in most of the country. Linear and nonlinear trends as well as temporal statistics are examined for inter- and intra-annual variability of HDDs to discuss its potential incidence on residential use of natural gas. Seasonal increases in natural gas consumption in the country, including the effect of regional price benefits, could be now better explained not only by population growth but also by the spatial and temporal characterization of the HDD season.

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