Presentation_1_Assessing Change-Points in Surface Air Temperature Over Alaska.pdf (257.42 kB)

Presentation_1_Assessing Change-Points in Surface Air Temperature Over Alaska.pdf

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posted on 19.10.2018 by Elena A. Khapalova, Venkata K. Jandhyala, Stergios B. Fotopoulos, James E. Overland

An understanding of low frequency climatic variations is important for climatologists and planning by the public for informed climate mitigation and adaptation. This study applies recent advances in statistical change-point methodology to the variability of temperatures from seven stations in Alaska and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) climate index for the past decades. We allow for the presence of multiple change-points in any given data series and provide confidence intervals for the identified change-points. We analyze the multiple station data based on season and temperature means and extremes. Physical processes responsible for specific identified temperature changes have been explored through geopotential height field and sea level pressure (SLP) maps. Predominantly, temperature and PDO shifts were observed during winter and spring in the 1940s and the 1970s. The study also identifies anomalous changes in summer that have occurred either in 1960s or in the 1980s. This is a significant deviation from the changes found in the 1970s for winter and spring. Except for a change in the 1940s at King Salmon Airport (KSA) and one in the 1970s at Homer Airport (HA), no other changes were found in fall. Also, there is lack of clear low frequency cyclic variability in the northern North Pacific region. Due to strong interactions and feedbacks, Alaskan sea surface temperature changes identified in this study can have lasting impact upon a number of factors including sea ice, arctic snow cover, atmospheric heat transport, clouds, and others.