Trends of extreme temperature and precipitation across the United Kingdom from 1958 to 2003, and whether they are changing in terms of their extremity

Cope, Thomas (2006) Trends of extreme temperature and precipitation across the United Kingdom from 1958 to 2003, and whether they are changing in terms of their extremity. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Secondary temperature and precipitation data from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis are analysed to examine whether climate change is affecting extreme meteorological events across the United Kingdom from 1958 to 2003. Diagnostic indices are used to define extreme events, and trends within these indices are fitted ordinary least-squares. Analysis revealed widespread warming trends in all of the 9 temperature indices. Out of a total of 432 grid points (48 UK points and 9 indices) there were: 409 positive trends, of which 189 were significant to at least 95%, and where 235 were significant to at least 90%; 22 negative trends, of which 2 were significant to at least 95%; and one 1 stagnant trend. Within this warming minimum temperatures are increasing faster than average temperatures, and maximum temperatures increasing slower than average temperatures. There is also great spatial variation in these trends. The strongest and most significant warming trends were located in the South, South East and Eastern regions of the United Kingdom; where as the weakest and least significant trends were situated in the West, North West and North of the United Kingdom. During the study period there is a trend of increased precipitable water in the atmosphere. This increase is likely to be the result of significant increases in the 90th percentile which compensate for the decreases in the 10th percentile. This suggests that the heavy precipitation events are changing more than light event. Trends in the maximum and minimum events are less convincing, but display similar trends found in the 90th and 10th percentiles. There also appears to be continentality affect where precipitable water gradients are changing significantly different over the land and over the sea. This is could be a consequence of differing thermal responses by the land and the sea to climate change.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/175

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