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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #302555

Research Project: Managing and Modeling Deficit Irrigation and Limited Rainfall for Crop Production in Semi-Arid Regions

Location: Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research

Title: Optimal ranking regime analysis of intra- to multidecadal U.S. climate variability. Part I: Temperature

Author
item Mauget, Steven
item CORDERO, EUGENE - San Jose State University

Submitted to: Journal of Climate
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/11/2014
Publication Date: 12/1/2014
Citation: Mauget, S.A., Cordero, E. 2014. Optimal ranking regime analysis of intra- to multidecadal U.S. climate variability. Part I: Temperature. Journal of Climate. 27(24):9006-9026.

Interpretive Summary: In the coming decades low frequency climate cycles may rival or even dominate greenhouse-warming effects over some areas of the U.S. A better understanding of oceanic temperature cycles such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and their effects over the continental U.S., that is, their timing, geographic location, and seasonality, requires that they first be correctly detected in observed data. Here, multi-decadal cycles in U.S. temperature variability during 1896-2012 are studied using a time series analysis method – the Optimal Ranking Regime method – that is particularly well suited to identifying the low frequency climate effects of these oceanic cycles. Although the temperature effects of the PDO seems to be an important influence on spring temperatures in the northwest U.S., eastern temperature regimes in annual, winter, summer and fall temperatures are more coincident with cool and warm phase periods of the AMO. Annual AMO values also correlate significantly with summer temperatures along the eastern seaboard and fall temperatures in the southwest. Given evidence of the sudden onset of cold winter temperatures in the eastern U.S. during 1957-1958, the cause and duration of a period of cool temperatures regime occurring between the late 1950’s and late 1980’s in the eastern U.S. is discussed.

Technical Abstract: The Optimal Ranking Regime (ORR) method was used to identify intra- to multi-decadal (IMD) time windows containing significant ranking sequences in U.S. climate division temperature data. The simplicity of the ORR procedure’s output – a time series’ most significant non-overlapping periods of high or low rankings – makes it possible to graphically identify common temporal breakpoints and spatial patterns of IMD variability in the analyses of 102 climate division temperature series. This approach is applied to annual AMO and PDO climate indices, a northern hemisphere annual temperature (NHT) series, and divisional annual and seasonal temperature data during 1896-2012. In addition, Pearson correlations are calculated between PDO, AMO, and NHT series and the divisional temperature series. Although PDO phase seems to be an important influence on spring temperatures in the northwest U.S., eastern temperature regimes in annual, winter, summer and fall temperatures are more coincident with cool and warm phase AMO regimes. Annual AMO values also correlate significantly with summer temperatures along the eastern seaboard and fall temperatures in the southwest. Given evidence of the abrupt onset of cold winter temperatures in the eastern U.S. during 1957-1958, the cause and duration of the southeastern U.S. warm hole period - identified here as a cool temperature regime occurring between the late 1950’s and late 1980’s – is discussed.