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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2006 Dec;74(6 Pt 1):061114. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Role of global warming on the statistics of record-breaking temperatures.

Author information

1
Center for Polymer Studies and Department of Physics, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA. redner@bu.edu

Abstract

We theoretically study the statistics of record-breaking daily temperatures and validate these predictions using both Monte Carlo simulations and 126 years of available data from the city of Philadelphia. Using extreme statistics, we derive the number and the magnitude of record temperature events, based on the observed Gaussian daily temperature distribution in Philadelphia, as a function of the number of years of observation. We then consider the case of global warming, where the mean temperature systematically increases with time. Over the 126-year time range of observations, we argue that the current warming rate is insufficient to measurably influence the frequency of record temperature events, a conclusion that is supported by numerical simulations and by the Philadelphia data. We also study the role of correlations between temperatures on successive days and find that they do not affect the frequency or magnitude of record temperature events.

PMID:
17280045
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevE.74.061114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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