Homogeneity assessment of a station climate series (1933-2005) in the Metropolitan Area of São Paulo: instruments change and urbanization effects

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Springer Wien



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This work assessed homogeneity of the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences (IAG) weather station climate series, using various statistical techniques. The record from this target station is one of the longest in Brazil, having commenced in 1933 with observations of precipitation, and temperatures and other variables later in 1936. Thus, it is one of the few stations in Brazil with enough data for long-term climate variability and climate change studies. There is, however, a possibility that its data may have been contaminated by some artifacts over time. Admittedly, there was an intervention on the observations in 1958, with the replacement of instruments, for which the size of impact has not been yet evaluated. The station transformed in the course of time from rural to urban, and this may also have influenced homogeneity of the observations and makes the station less representative for climate studies over larger spatial scales. Homogeneity of the target station was assessed applying both absolute, or single station tests, and tests relatively to regional climate, in annual scale, regarding daily precipitation, relative humidity, maximum (TMax), minimum (TMin), and wet bulb temperatures. Among these quantities, only precipitation does not exhibit any inhomogeneity. A clear signal of change of instruments in 1958 was detected in the TMax and relative humidity data, the latter certainly because of its strong dependence on temperature. This signal is not very clear in TMin, but it presents non-climatic discontinuities around 1953 and around 1970. A significant homogeneity break is found around 1990 for TMax and wet bulb temperature. The discontinuities detected after 1958 may have been caused by urbanization, as the observed warming trend in the station is considerably greater than that corresponding to regional climate.





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Theoretical and Applied Climatology. Wien: Springer Wien, v. 107, n. 3-4, p. 361-374, 2012.

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