Break detection of annual Swiss temperature series

Kuglitsch, Franz G.; Auchmann, Renate; Bleisch, René; Brönnimann, Stefan; Martius, Olivia; Stewart, Monique (2012). Break detection of annual Swiss temperature series. Journal of geophysical research, 117(D13), n/a-n/a. American Geophysical Union 10.1029/2012JD017729

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[1] Instrumental temperature series are often affected by artificial breaks (“break points”) due to (e.g.,) changes in station location, land-use, or instrumentation. The Swiss climate observation network offers a high number and density of stations, many long and relatively complete daily to sub-daily temperature series, and well-documented station histories (i.e., metadata). However, for many climate observation networks outside of Switzerland, detailed station histories are missing, incomplete, or inaccessible. To correct these records, the use of reliable statistical break detection methods is necessary. Here, we apply three statistical break detection methods to high-quality Swiss temperature series and use the available metadata to assess the methods. Due to the complex terrain in Switzerland, we are able to assess these methods under specific local conditions such as the Foehn or crest situations. We find that the temperature series of all stations are affected by artificial breaks (average = 1 break point / 48 years) with discrepancies in the abilities of the methods to detect breaks. However, by combining the three statistical methods, almost all of the detected break points are confirmed by metadata. In most cases, these break points are ascribed to a combination of factors in the station history.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Paleolimnology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Climatology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Impact
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR) > MobiLab

UniBE Contributor:

Kuglitsch, Franz-Gunther, Auchmann, Renate, Bleisch, René, Brönnimann, Stefan, Romppainen-Martius, Olivia, Stewart, Monique


900 History > 910 Geography & travel




American Geophysical Union




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:42

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:13

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:




URI: (FactScience: 225138)

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