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Keywords:

  • daily temperature variability;
  • wavelet analysis;
  • inhomogeneity;
  • temperature extremes

Abstract

A wavelet-analysis-based homogenization method (WHM) is developed for detecting and adjusting biases of variability in a daily climate observation series, which are influential in the estimation of climate extremes and relevant trends in the time series. WHM is applied to the Central England daily mean temperature series (CET, 1772–2010) and the daily mean temperature series at Henan station in mountainous western China (HNT, 1960–2008) in order to demonstrate the usefulness of the new technique. The changes of methods for calculating daily mean temperature for CET in 1878 caused significantly reduced daily variability (DV) in the subsequent sub-series of CET. The relocation of the Chinese station in 1981 to a higher mountainous site resulted in not only enhanced DV but also in weather (weekly) time-scale variability (WV) in the subsequent sub-series of HNT. The adjustments based on WHM in the present cases improve the estimates of the long-term trends of climate extremes such as hot days, cold days, heat waves, and cold surges. A few widely applied methods of homogenization such as multiple analysis of series for homogenization (MASH), higher-order moment (HOM), RHtestsV3 with quantile-matching (QM) adjustments and two-phase regression (TPR) are also applied to HNT for comparison. TPR is not aimed at improving the homogeneity of variability in the time series; MASH does not improve daily variability either; HOM improves it in a small way; and with RHtestsV3 with QM adjustments it is considerably improved, but biases remain. In contrast, WHM improves the homogeneity of the short-term variability in the time series, resulting in reasonable assessments of climate extremes and trends in the daily observations.