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A. Bücher and J. Dessens

Abstract

Surface temperature was measured at the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, 2862 m MSL, from the foundation of the Observatory in 1878 until the closing of the meteorological station in 1984. After testing the homogeneity of the series with the annual mean temperatures in western Europe and in southwestern France, the period 1882–1970 was retained for trend analysis.

The mean annual temperature increased 0.83°C during the 89-yr period. This increase is the sum of a very significant increase in the daily minimum temperature (+ 2.11°C) and a decrease in the maximum temperature (− 0.45°C). In consequence, the most dramatic change in the temperature regime was the difference between maximum and minimum; this decreased from 8.05°C in 1882 to 5.49°C in 1970. A mean increase is observed in all seasons, but, as for western Europe, it is stronger in spring and fall than in winter and summer.

Analysis of cloudiness data for the same period shows a 15% increase in annual mean cloudiness and also significant year-to-year correlations between cloudiness and the maximum and minimum temperature. In consequence, the change in the temperature regime observed at the Pic du Midi since the end of last century is most probably the result of a climatic change involving an increase in cloud cover and, maybe, an increasing greenhouse effect.

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C. D. Hewitt, E. Allis, S. J. Mason, M. Muth, R. Pulwarty, J. Shumake-Guillemot, A. Bucher, M. Brunet, A. M. Fischer, A. M. Hama, R. K. Kolli, F. Lucio, O. Ndiaye, and B. Tapia

Abstract

There is growing awareness among governments, businesses, and the general public of risks arising from changes to our climate on time scales from months through to decades. Some climatic changes could be unprecedented in their harmful socioeconomic impacts, while others with adequate forewarning and planning could offer benefits. There is therefore a pressing need for decision-makers, including policy-makers, to have access to and to use high-quality, accessible, relevant, and credible climate information about the past, present, and future to help make better-informed decisions and policies. We refer to the provision and use of such information as climate services. Established programs of research and operational activities are improving observations and climate monitoring, our understanding of climate processes, climate variability and change, and predictions and projections of the future climate. Delivering climate information (including data and knowledge) in a way that is usable and useful for decision-makers has had less attention, and society has yet to optimally benefit from the available information. While weather services routinely help weather-sensitive decision-making, similar services for decisions on longer time scales are less well established. Many organizations are now actively developing climate services, and a growing number of decision-makers are keen to benefit from such services. This article describes progress made over the past decade developing, delivering, and using climate services, in particular from the worldwide effort galvanizing around the Global Framework for Climate Services under the coordination of UN agencies. The article highlights challenges in making further progress and proposes potential new directions to address such challenges.

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