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Representing the Arctic in global surface temperature time series of recent climate change

Dodd, E. M. A. (2015) Representing the Arctic in global surface temperature time series of recent climate change. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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The Arctic is an important region in the study of climate change, but monitoring surface temperatures in this region is challenging, particularly in areas covered by sea ice. Here in situ, satellite and reanalysis data were utilised to investigate whether global warming over recent decades could be better estimated by changing the way the Arctic is treated in calculating global mean temperature. The degree of difference arising from using five different techniques, based on existing temperature anomaly dataset techniques, to estimate Arctic SAT anomalies over land and sea ice were investigated using reanalysis data as a testbed. Techniques which interpolated anomalies were found to result in smaller errors than non-interpolating techniques. Kriging techniques provided the smallest errors in anomaly estimates. Similar accuracies were found for anomalies estimated from in situ meteorological station SAT records using a kriging technique. Whether additional data sources, which are not currently utilised in temperature anomaly datasets, would improve estimates of Arctic surface air temperature anomalies was investigated within the reanalysis testbed and using in situ data. For the reanalysis study, the additional input anomalies were reanalysis data sampled at certain supplementary data source locations over Arctic land and sea ice areas. For the in situ data study, the additional input anomalies over sea ice were surface temperature anomalies derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer satellite instruments. The use of additional data sources, particularly those located in the Arctic Ocean over sea ice or on islands in sparsely observed regions, can lead to substantial improvements in the accuracy of estimated anomalies. Decreases in Root Mean Square Error can be up to 0.2K for Arctic-average anomalies and more than 1K for spatially resolved anomalies. Further improvements in accuracy may be accomplished through the use of other data sources.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Merchant, C.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences
ID Code:45044


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