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Environ Monit Assess. 2014 Sep;186(9):5663-79. doi: 10.1007/s10661-014-3811-9. Epub 2014 May 16.

Variations in global temperature and precipitation for the period of 1948 to 2010.

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State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, People's Republic of China.


Climate change has impacts on both natural and human systems. Accurate information regarding variations in precipitation and temperature is essential for identifying and understanding these potential impacts. This research applied Mann-Kendall, rescaled range analysis and wave transform methods to analyze the trends and periodic properties of global and regional surface air temperature (SAT) and precipitation (PR) over the period of 1948 to 2010. The results show that 65.34% of the area studied exhibits significant warming trends (p < 0.05) while only 3.18% of the area exhibits significant cooling trends. The greatest warming trends are observed in Antarctica (0.32 °C per decade) and Middle Africa (0.21 °C per decade). Notably, 62.26% of the area became wetter, while 22.01% of the area shows drying trends. Northern Europe shows the largest precipitation increase, 12.49 mm per decade. Western Africa shows the fastest drying, -21.05 mm per decade. The rescaled range analysis reveals large areas that show persistent warming trends; this behavior in SAT is more obvious than that in PR. Wave transform results show that a 1-year period of SAT variation dominates in all regions, while inconsistent 0.5-year bands are observed in East Asia, Middle Africa, and Southeast Asia. In PR, significant power in the wavelet power spectrum at a 1-year period was observed in 17 regions, i.e., in all regions studied except Western Europe, where precipitation is instead characterized by 0.5-year and 0.25-year periods. Overall, the variations in SAT and PR can be consistent with the combined impacts of natural and anthropogenic factors, such as atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the internal variability of climate system, and volcanic eruptions.

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