Changes in seasonal and annual high-frequency air temperature variability in the Arctic from 1951 to 1990

Authors

  • Rajmund Przybylak

    Corresponding author
    1. Nicholas Copernicus University, Department of Climatology, Danielewskiego 6, PL 87-100 Toruń, Poland
    • Nicholas Copernicus University, Department of Climatology, Danielewskiego 6, PL 87-100 Toruń, Poland
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Abstract

A detailed analysis of intraseasonal (within season) and interannual (between years) temperature variability for the whole Arctic for the period 1951–90 is provided. For this purpose four temperature variables were used: average (TMEAN), maximum (TMAX) and minimum (TMIN) temperatures, and the diurnal temperature range (DTR). The source data for the analysis were the daily TMAX and TMIN for ten stations representing almost all climatic regions in the Arctic. The methods of calculation of temperature variability were mostly taken from Plummer (1996; Australian Meteorological Magazine45: 233). Thus the results presented for the Arctic can be fully compared with existing results for the other parts of the world (China, the former USSR, the USA and Australia).

Regional trends in intraseasonal and interannual temperature variability were mixed and the majority of them were insignificant. Trends in intraseasonal variability were positive in the Norwegian Arctic and eastern Greenland and negative in the Canadian and Russian Arctic. Small increases in interannual variability for all temperature variables were observed annually in the Norwegian Arctic and eastern Greenland, and in the Canadian Arctic. These were largely a result of increases in winter and transitional seasons respectively. On the other hand, opposite tendencies, both on a seasonal and an annual basis, occurred in the Russian Arctic. Statistically significant negative trends in intraseasonal variability were noted mainly in the Canadian Arctic, whereas such trends in interannual variability were noted mainly in the Russian Arctic.

The absence of significant changes in intraseasonal and interannual variability of TMEAN, TMAX, TMIN and DTR is additional evidence (besides the average temperature) that in the Arctic in the period 1951–90 no tangible manifestations of the greenhouse effect can be identified. Copyright © 2002 Royal Meteorological Society.

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