Seasonal changes in central England temperatures

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The aim of the paper is to assess how climate change is reflected in the variation of the seasonal patterns of the monthly central England temperature time series between 1772 and 2013. In particular, we model changes in the amplitude and phase of the seasonal cycle. Starting from the seminal work of Thomson, various studies have documented a shift in the phase of the annual cycle, implying an earlier onset of the spring season at various European locations. A significant reduction in the amplitude of the seasonal cycle is also documented. The literature so far has concentrated on the measurement of this phenomenon by various methods, among which complex demodulation and wavelet decompositions are prominent. We offer new insight by considering a model that allows for seasonally varying deterministic and stochastic trends, as well as seasonally varying auto-correlation and residual variances. The model can be summarized as containing a permanent and a transitory component, where global warming is captured in the permanent component, on which the seasons load differentially. The phase of the seasonal cycle, in contrast, seems to be following the trend that was identified by Thomson with Earth's precession in a stable manner. We identify the reported fluctuations as transitory.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A (Statistics in Society)
Pages (from-to)769-791
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Amplitude and phase shifts, Global warming, Seasonal models, Structural change, TIME-SERIES ANALYSIS, GLOBAL TEMPERATURE, SURFACE-TEMPERATURE, RANDOM-WALK, TRENDS, MODELS, TESTS, COMPONENTS

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