September 22, 2012
A second generation of homogenized Canadian monthly surface air temperature for climate trend analysis
This study presents a second generation of homogenized monthly mean surface air temperature data set for Canadian climate trend analysis. Monthly means of daily maximum and of daily minimum temperatures were examined at 338 Canadian locations. Data from co-located observing sites were sometimes combined to create longer time series for use in trend analysis. Time series of observations were then adjusted to account for nation-wide change in observing time in July 1961, affecting daily minimum temperatures recorded at 120 synoptic stations; these were adjusted using hourly temperatures at the same sites. Next, homogeneity testing was performed to detect and adjust for other discontinuities. Two techniques were used to detect non-climatic shifts in de-seasonalized monthly mean temperatures: a multiple linear regression based test and a penalized maximal t test. These discontinuities were adjusted using a recently developed quantile-matching algorithm: the adjustments were estimated with the use of a reference series. Based on this new homogenized temperature data set, annual and seasonal temperature trends were estimated for Canada for 1950–2010 and Southern Canada for 1900–2010. Overall, temperature has increased at most locations. For 1950–2010, the annual mean temperature averaged over the country shows a positive trend of 1.5C for the past 61 years. This warming is slightly more pronounced in the minimum temperature than in the maximum temperature; seasonally, the greatest warming occurs in winter and spring. The results are similar for Southern Canada although the warming is considerably greater in the minimum temperature compared to the maximum temperature over the period 1900–2010.