Callaghan Innovation Research Papers

Back to Research Papers

TitleModelling temperature trends in New Zealand
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWithers, C.S., Krouse D.P., Pearson C.P., and Nadarajah S.
JournalEnvironmental Modeling and Assessment
Pagination231 - 249
Date Published2009
ISSN14202026 (ISSN)
AbstractIf global warming is accelerating, then one might expect temperatures for most stations to be accelerating and perhaps variability to be increasing. In this study, we examine 57 New Zealand temperature time series for evidence of non-linearity and changing variability. These correspond to time series for annual minima, annual means and annual maxima for 19 stations. Estimation is by an extended least-squares method. We find a surprising diversity of behaviour of these series - presumably reflecting their different geographic factors as well as series length. We give evidence of regions where temperatures are decreasing. For series where a linear trend is significant, it is downwards in about one third of the cases. This proportion was higher in the South Island, especially for series of minima. Where a non-linear trend is significant, temperatures are decelerating in about one half of the cases. The ratio of downward to upward trends is highest among annual maxima and South Island minima and smallest in annual means. Where a linear trend in the variability is significant, it is decreasing in 13 cases and increasing in 5 cases, although possibly this is partly due to poorer quality data last century. Where a non-linear trend in the variability is significant, variability is decelerating in about two thirds of the cases. The results are used to project upper and lower return levels of minima, means and maxima for each of the series to the year 2010. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Back to top