A large discontinuity in the mid-twentieth century in observed global-mean surface temperature View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2008-05-29

AUTHORS

David W. J. Thompson, John J. Kennedy, John M. Wallace, Phil D. Jones

ABSTRACT

Data sets used to monitor the Earth's climate indicate that the surface of the Earth warmed from approximately 1910 to 1940, cooled slightly from approximately 1940 to 1970, and then warmed markedly from approximately 1970 onward. The weak cooling apparent in the middle part of the century has been interpreted in the context of a variety of physical factors, such as atmosphere-ocean interactions and anthropogenic emissions of sulphate aerosols. Here we call attention to a previously overlooked discontinuity in the record at 1945, which is a prominent feature of the cooling trend in the mid-twentieth century. The discontinuity is evident in published versions of the global-mean temperature time series, but stands out more clearly after the data are filtered for the effects of internal climate variability. We argue that the abrupt temperature drop of approximately 0.3 degrees C in 1945 is the apparent result of uncorrected instrumental biases in the sea surface temperature record. Corrections for the discontinuity are expected to alter the character of mid-twentieth century temperature variability but not estimates of the century-long trend in global-mean temperatures. More... »

PAGES

646

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1038/nature06982

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature06982

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1022794945

PUBMED

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18509442


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