All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 475 132 4
PDF Downloads 295 127 2

Trend Estimation and Regression Analysis in Climatological Time Series: An Application of Structural Time Series Models and the Kalman Filter

H. VisserKEMA Environmental Services, the Netherlands

Search for other papers by H. Visser in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
J. MolenaarFaculty of Mathematics and Computing Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands

Search for other papers by J. Molenaar in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Full access

Abstract

The detection of trends in climatological data has become central to the discussion on climate change due to the enhanced greenhouse effect. To prove detection, a method is needed (i) to make inferences on significant rises or declines in trends, (ii) to take into account natural variability in climate series, and (iii) to compare output from GCMs with the trends in observed climate data. To meet these requirements, flexible mathematical tools are needed. A structural time series model is proposed with which a stochastic trend, a deterministic trend, and regression coefficients can be estimated simultaneously. The stochastic trend component is described using the class of ARIMA models. The regression component is assumed to be linear. However, the regression coefficients corresponding with the explanatory variables may be time dependent to validate this assumption. The mathematical technique used to estimate this trend-regression model is the Kaiman filter. The main features of the filter are discussed.

Examples of trend estimation are given using annual mean temperatures at a single station in the Netherlands (1706–1990) and annual mean temperatures at Northern Hemisphere land stations (1851–1990). The inclusion of explanatory variables is shown by regressing the latter temperature series on four variables: Southern Oscillation index (SOI), volcanic dust index (VDI), sunspot numbers (SSN), and a simulated temperature signal, induced by increasing greenhouse gases (GHG). In all analyses, the influence of SSN on global temperatures is found to be negligible. The correlations between temperatures and SOI and VDI appear to be negative. For SOI, this correlation is significant, but for VDI it is not, probably because of a lack of volcanic eruptions during the sample period. The relation between temperatures and GHG is positive, which is in agreement with the hypothesis of a warming climate because of increasing levels of greenhouse gases. The prediction performance of the model is rather poor, and possible explanations are discussed.

Abstract

The detection of trends in climatological data has become central to the discussion on climate change due to the enhanced greenhouse effect. To prove detection, a method is needed (i) to make inferences on significant rises or declines in trends, (ii) to take into account natural variability in climate series, and (iii) to compare output from GCMs with the trends in observed climate data. To meet these requirements, flexible mathematical tools are needed. A structural time series model is proposed with which a stochastic trend, a deterministic trend, and regression coefficients can be estimated simultaneously. The stochastic trend component is described using the class of ARIMA models. The regression component is assumed to be linear. However, the regression coefficients corresponding with the explanatory variables may be time dependent to validate this assumption. The mathematical technique used to estimate this trend-regression model is the Kaiman filter. The main features of the filter are discussed.

Examples of trend estimation are given using annual mean temperatures at a single station in the Netherlands (1706–1990) and annual mean temperatures at Northern Hemisphere land stations (1851–1990). The inclusion of explanatory variables is shown by regressing the latter temperature series on four variables: Southern Oscillation index (SOI), volcanic dust index (VDI), sunspot numbers (SSN), and a simulated temperature signal, induced by increasing greenhouse gases (GHG). In all analyses, the influence of SSN on global temperatures is found to be negligible. The correlations between temperatures and SOI and VDI appear to be negative. For SOI, this correlation is significant, but for VDI it is not, probably because of a lack of volcanic eruptions during the sample period. The relation between temperatures and GHG is positive, which is in agreement with the hypothesis of a warming climate because of increasing levels of greenhouse gases. The prediction performance of the model is rather poor, and possible explanations are discussed.

Save