Stochastic investigation of daily air temperature extremes from a global ground station network

K. Glynis, T. Iliopoulou, P. Dimitriadis, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Stochastic investigation of daily air temperature extremes from a global ground station network, Stochastic Environmental Research & Risk Assessment, doi:10.1007/s00477-021-02002-3, 2021.



Near-surface air temperature is one of the most widely studied hydroclimatic variables, as both its regular and extremal behaviors are of paramount importance to human life. Following the global warming observed in the past decades and the advent of the anthropogenic climate change debate, interest in temperature’s variability and extremes has been rising. It has since become clear that it is imperative not only to identify the exact shape of the temperature’s distribution tails, but also to understand their temporal evolution. Here, we investigate the stochastic behavior of near-surface air temperature using the newly developed estimation tool of Knowable (K-)moments. K-moments, because of their property to substitute higher-order deviations from the mean with the distribution function, enable reliable estimation and an effective alternative to order statistics and, particularly for the outliers-prone distribution tails. We compile a large set of daily timeseries (30–200 years) of average, maximum and minimum air temperature, which we standardize with respect to the monthly variability of each record. Our focus is placed on the maximum and minimum temperatures, because they are more reliably measured than the average, yet very rarely analyzed in the literature. We examine segments of each timeseries using consecutive rolling 30-year periods, from which we extract extreme values corresponding to specific return period levels. Results suggest that the average and minimum temperature tend to increase, while overall the maximum temperature is slightly decreasing. Furthermore, we model the temperature timeseries as a filtered Hurst-Kolmogorov process and use Monte Carlo simulation to produce synthetic records with similar stochastic properties through the explicit Symmetric Moving Average scheme. We subsequently evaluate how the patterns observed in the longest records can be reproduced by the synthetic series.

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Our works that reference this work:

1. D. Koutsoyiannis, Rethinking climate, climate change, and their relationship with water, Water, 13 (6), 849, doi:10.3390/w13060849, 2021.
2. P. Dimitriadis, D. Koutsoyiannis, T. Iliopoulou, and P. Papanicolaou, A global-scale investigation of stochastic similarities in marginal distribution and dependence structure of key hydrological-cycle processes, Hydrology, 8 (2), 59, doi:10.3390/hydrology8020059, 2021.
3. P. Dimitriadis, A. Tegos, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Stochastic analysis of hourly to monthly potential evapotranspiration with a focus on the long-range dependence and application with reanalysis and ground-station data, Hydrology, 8 (4), 177, doi:10.3390/hydrology8040177, 2021.
4. T. Iliopoulou, N. Malamos, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Regional ombrian curves: Design rainfall estimation for a spatially diverse rainfall regime, Hydrology, 9 (5), 67, doi:10.3390/hydrology9050067, 2022.