Changes in extreme temperature and precipitation indices: Using an innovative daily homogenized database in Israel

Yizhak Yosef, Enric Aguilar, Pinhas Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examines the 1950–2017 temporal changes in climate extremes in Israel, which is located in the East Mediterranean (EM), a region which suffers from a scarcity of long and reliable datasets. It is well known that most long-term records are affected by artificial shifts most commonly caused by station relocation, instrumental modification and local environmental changes. Therefore, for the first time, a thorough homogenization (detection and correction) routine was developed and implemented in the long-term records. Consequently, a new daily adjusted dataset has been generated, including 34 temperature stations and 60 precipitation stations. Based on this comprehensive dataset, 38 extreme indices recommended by the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and the Expert Team on Sector-specific Climate Indices have been calculated. These indices will help various sectors to plan properly mitigation actions and adaptation for climate change, in addition to facilitating future studies for the EM. The results showed highly significant changes in temperature extremes associated with warming, especially for those indices derived from the daily minimum temperature (TN, 1950–2017), whereas the maximum temperature (TX) exhibited a similar increasing magnitude of the TN (~0.55°C/decade) in the last 30 years. The warming trends, which are non-monotonic, seem to have been particularly strong since the early 1990s. The coastal area is characterized by higher heat stress during the nighttime, while mountains exhibit a strong tendency towards increasing temperatures during the noon hours. A reduction in the total precipitation amount and in the number of wet days with a tendency towards more intense wet days was found. Although all the regional trends of the precipitation indices were not statistically significant (p ≤.05), they showed a fine spatial coherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5022-5045
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Volume39
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • East Mediterranean
  • Israel
  • climate change
  • extreme indices
  • homogenization
  • precipitation
  • temperature
  • trend analysis

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