10.4 Extraction of variability trends via record-breaking statistics

Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 4:45 PM
606 (Washington State Convention Center)
Amalia Anderson, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI; and A. Kostinski

Record-breaking statistics are employed to examine natural variability in time-series. Specifically, we propose an index, α, which is based on counts of record-breaking highs and lows and reversibility in time. This technique is useful for extracting weak variance trends in multiple time-series and is generally distribution independent, thus removing a common challenge in time-series analysis. Here the method is applied to globally distributed monthly temperature time-series. For 15635 monthly temperature time-series from different geographical locations (Global Historical Climatology Network), each time-series about a century-long, < α > = -1.0, indicating decreasing variability. This value is an order of magnitude greater than the 3-σ value of stationary simulations. Using the conventional best-fit Gaussian temperature distribution, the trend is associated with a change of about -0.2°C per 106 years in the standard deviation of interannual monthly mean temperature distributions (about 10%).
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