Thursday, June 9, 2011

Said AlSarmi & Richard Washington, J. Geophys. Res., 116 (2011), Recent observed climate change over the Arabian Peninsula

Recent observed climate change over the Arabian Peninsula
Key Points
  • Arabian Peninsula is warming significantly
  • Many Arabian Peninsula stations reported high warming rates
  • The warming in minimum temperature is the highest and most spatially coherent
Said AlSarmi and Richard Washington

Climatology Research Group, Oxford University Centre for the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK


We have examined trends in temperature and precipitation parameters for the Arabian Peninsula (AP) during the last 2 to 3 decades. The data set has been carefully quality controlled and checked for homogeneity. Although of low density (21 stations) and relatively short time period, a clear picture of climate change in the region has emerged. The general pattern of the AP mean annual temperature trend is one of warming, with 14 of 21 stations show statistically significant warming at 0.05 level and most at 0.001 level and only one (Seeb) showing statistically significant cooling. The highest statistically significant mean annual warming trends are found in Oman (Sur = 1.03 °C decade−1) and Emirates (Dubai = 0.81 °C decade−1). The season of maximum warming in mean temperature is March to April. The highest monthly mean temperature trend in the AP occurs in Sur in May (1.47 °C decade−1). There is a broad statistically significant increase in mean annual maximum temperature in AP in 12 out of 21 stations, with the highest trends in central and eastern/southeastern AP. Only SW AP and the Gulf of Oman do not show warming. The highest monthly maximum temperature trend in the AP occurs in Bahrain in March (2.27 °C decade−1). The second highest significant warming trends are reported in Doha in February (1.54 °C decade−1). For minimum temperature, 16 out of 21 stations show statistically significant warming trends, with the highest annual trends observed in the Emirates (Dubai = 1.24 °C decade−1), northwest Oman (Sohar = 1.17 °C decade−1) and Qatar (Doha = 1.13 °C decade−1). The highest monthly minimum temperature warming rate occurred in October. Both Dubai and Kuwait reported the highest significant rate of 2.00 °C decade−1. The general mean annual diurnal temperature range trend is negative in the AP, with six out of 21 stations show statistically significant negative trends while three stations show statistically significant positive trends. Trends in mean annual precipitation are significant at only two stations which show a decrease in precipitation.

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