Climate and Dynamics
Doubled length of western European summer heat waves since 1880
Article first published online: 3 AUG 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012)
Volume 112, Issue D15, 16 August 2007
How to Cite
2007), Doubled length of western European summer heat waves since 1880, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D15103, doi:10.1029/2007JD008510., , , and (
- Issue published online: 3 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 3 AUG 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 27 APR 2007
- Manuscript Received: 5 FEB 2007
- Climate extremes;
 We analyzed a new data set of 54 high-quality homogenized daily maximum temperature series from western Europe (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom) to define more accurately the change in extreme warm Daily Summer Maximum Temperature (DSMT). Results from the daily temperature homogeneity analysis suggest that many instrumental measurements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were warm-biased. Correcting for these biases, over the period 1880 to 2005 the length of summer heat waves over western Europe has doubled and the frequency of hot days has almost tripled. The DSMT Probability Density Function (PDF) shows significant changes in the mean (+1.6 ± 0.4°C) and variance (+6 ± 2%). These conclusions help further the evidence that western Europe's climate has become more extreme than previously thought and that the hypothesized increase in variance of future summer temperature has indeed been a reality over the last 126 years.