Trends of mean and extreme temperature indices since 1874 at low-elevation sites in the Southern Alps

Brugnara, Yuri; Auchmann, Renate; Brönnimann, Stefan; Bozzo, A.; Berro, D.C.; Mercalli, L. (2016). Trends of mean and extreme temperature indices since 1874 at low-elevation sites in the Southern Alps. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(7), pp. 3304-3325. American Geophysical Union 10.1002/2015JD024582

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We describe the recovery of three daily meteorological records for the southern Alps (Domodossola, Riva del Garda, and Rovereto), all starting in the second half of the nineteenth century. We use these new data, along with additional records, to study regional changes in the mean temperature and extreme indices of heat waves and cold spells frequency and duration over the period 1874–2015. The records are homogenized using subdaily cloud cover observations as a constraint for the statistical model, an approach that has never been applied before in the literature. A case study based on a record of parallel observations between a traditional meteorological window and a modern screen shows that the use of cloud cover can reduce the root-mean-square error of the homogenization by up to 30% in comparison to an unaided statistical correction. We find that mean temperature in the southern Alps has increased by 1.4°C per century over the analyzed period, with larger increases in daily minimum temperatures than maximum temperatures. The number of hot days in summer has more than tripled, and a similar increase is observed in duration of heat waves. Cold days in winter have dropped at a similar rate. These trends are mainly caused by climate change over the last few decades.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Brugnara, Yuri; Auchmann, Renate and Brönnimann, Stefan

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

2169-897X

Publisher:

American Geophysical Union

Language:

English

Submitter:

Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

25 Feb 2016 09:34

Last Modified:

09 Oct 2016 02:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/2015JD024582

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.75988

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/75988

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