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Characterizing and attributing the warming trend in sea and land surface temperatures

Francisco Estrada (), Luis Martins () and Pierre Perron

No WP2017-009, Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series from Boston University - Department of Economics

Abstract: Because of low-frequency internal variability, the observed and underlying warming trends in temperature series can be markedly different. Important differences in the observed nonlinear trends in hemisheric temperature series would suggest that the northern and southern hemispheres have responded differently to the changes in the radiative forcing. Using recent econometric techniques, we can reconcile such differences and show that all sea and land temperatures share similar time series properties and a common underlying warming trend having a dominant anthropogenic origin. We also investigate the interhemispheric temperature asymmetry (ITA) and show that the differences in warming between hemispheres is in part driven by antropogenic forcing but that most of the observed rapid changes is likely due to natural variability. The attribution of changes in ITA is relevant since increases in the temperature contrast between hemispheres could potentially produce a shift in the Intertropical Convergence Zone and alter rainfall patterns. The existence of a current slowdown in the warming and its causes is also investigated. The results suggest that the slowdown is a common feature in global and hemispheric sea and land temperatures that can, at least partly, be attributed to changes in anthropogenic forcing.

Keywords: Climate change; warming hiatus; structural break; co-trending; principal component analysis. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
Date: 2017-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-env
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