Temporal and spatial trends in air temperature on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii

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International Journal of Climatology


We examined trends in minimum and maximum temperatures in the Oahu during the period of past 39 (1969-2007) and 25 (1983-2007) years. We found a strong spatial and temporal variability in the temperature trends on Oahu. During the past 39years, island-wide minimum temperature has increased by 0.17°C/decade and shows a considerable variability in trends at individual location. There was no detectable trend found in maximum temperature over the same time period. The year 1983 was identified as the change point in the island-wide minimum temperature. During the recent 25years annual and summer maximum temperature showed a decline while minimum temperature continued to increase. Trend in diurnal temperature range (DTR) shows a decline during the past 39years with a stronger decreasing trend during the recent 25years. The trend in DTR for Oahu is much higher compared to the global DTR trend indicating a rapid warming in minimum temperature. Extreme temperature indices show a general warming during the past 39years. There has been significant increase in tropical and warm nights at the two urban stations. Maximum temperature generally followed the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) except the period when there is an increase in Hawaii Rainfall Index (HRI). In contrast, minimum temperature showed better agreement with HRI compared to the PDO, at least up until 1999 after which it showed an increase. Despite the relative cooling in PDO during the recent decade an increase in minimum temperature can be attributed to a decline in HRI. © 2012 Royal Meteorological Society.

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