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John R. Christy, William B. Norris, and Kevin P. Gallo
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John R. Christy, William B. Norris, and Richard T. McNider

Abstract

Surface temperatures have been observed in East Africa for more than 100 yr, but heretofore have not been subject to a rigorous climate analysis. To pursue this goal monthly averages of maximum (T Max), minimum (T Min), and mean (T Mean) temperatures were obtained for Kenya and Tanzania from several sources. After the data were organized into time series for specific sites (60 in Kenya and 58 in Tanzania), the series were adjusted for break points and merged into individual gridcell squares of 1.25°, 2.5°, and 5.0°.

Results for the most data-rich 5° cell, which includes Nairobi, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Kenya, indicate that since 1905, and even recently, the trend of T Max is not significantly different from zero. However, T Min results suggest an accelerating temperature rise.

Uncertainty estimates indicate that the trend of the difference time series (T MaxT Min) is significantly less than zero for 1946–2004, the period with the highest density of observations. This trend difference continues in the most recent period (1979–2004), in contrast with findings in recent periods for global datasets, which generally have sparse coverage of East Africa.

The differences between T Max and T Min trends, especially recently, may reflect a response to complex changes in the boundary layer dynamics; T Max represents the significantly greater daytime vertical connection to the deep atmosphere, whereas T Min often represents only a shallow layer whose temperature is more dependent on the turbulent state than on the temperature aloft.

Because the turbulent state in the stable boundary layer is highly dependent on local land use and perhaps locally produced aerosols, the significant human development of the surface may be responsible for the rising T Min while having little impact on T Max in East Africa. This indicates that time series of T Max and T Min should become separate variables in the study of long-term changes.

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John R. Christy, William B. Norris, Kelly Redmond, and Kevin P. Gallo

Abstract

A procedure is described to construct time series of regional surface temperatures and is then applied to interior central California stations to test the hypothesis that century-scale trend differences between irrigated and nonirrigated regions may be identified. The procedure requires documentation of every point in time at which a discontinuity in a station record may have occurred through (a) the examination of metadata forms (e.g., station moves) and (b) simple statistical tests. From this “homogeneous segments” of temperature records for each station are defined. Biases are determined for each segment relative to all others through a method employing mathematical graph theory. The debiased segments are then merged, forming a complete regional time series. Time series of daily maximum and minimum temperatures for stations in the irrigated San Joaquin Valley (Valley) and nearby nonirrigated Sierra Nevada (Sierra) were generated for 1910–2003. Results show that twentieth-century Valley minimum temperatures are warming at a highly significant rate in all seasons, being greatest in summer and fall (> +0.25°C decade−1). The Valley trend of annual mean temperatures is +0.07° ± 0.07°C decade−1. Sierra summer and fall minimum temperatures appear to be cooling, but at a less significant rate, while the trend of annual mean Sierra temperatures is an unremarkable −0.02° ± 0.10°C decade−1. A working hypothesis is that the relative positive trends in Valley minus Sierra minima (>0.4°C decade−1 for summer and fall) are related to the altered surface environment brought about by the growth of irrigated agriculture, essentially changing a high-albedo desert into a darker, moister, vegetated plain.

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