University of Oulu

Takalo JJ. Persistence of temperature and precipitation: from local to global anomalies. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2021Dec.17 [cited 2022Jan.27];64(6):OC654. Available from:

Persistence of temperature and precipitation : from local to global anomalies

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Author: Takalo, Jouni J.1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu and University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Instituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-01-27


Using detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) we find that all continents are persistent in temperature. The scaling exponents of the southern hemisphere (SH) continents, i.e., South America (0.77) and Oceania (0.72) are somewhat higher than scaling exponents of Europe (0.70), Asia (0.69) and North America (0.64), but the scaling of Africa is by far the highest (0.86). The reason for this is the location of Africa near the equator.

The scaling exponents of the precipitation are much smaller, i.e. between 0.55 (Europe) and 0.68 (North America). The scaling exponent of Europe is near that of the random noise (0.5), while the other continents are slightly persistent in precipitation. We also show that the persistence disappears in all time series when shuffling the data randomly, showing that persistence is not an intrinsic property of the estimator.

We find that the monthly temperature is the more persistent the more wide area is analyzed. The persistence of precipitation is also increasing as a function of area, although not so clearly. Furthermore, our analysis shows that the persistence of the temperature decreases poleward in both hemispheres. The persistence of precipitation is also highest at equatorial zones, and decreases poleward, but is less dependent on the latitude than temperature. It seems that the persistence of the precipitation is more dependent on the corresponding climate type than the persistence of the temperature.

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Series: Annals of geophysics
ISSN: 1593-5213
ISSN-E: 2037-416X
ISSN-L: 1593-5213
Volume: 64
Issue: 6
Pages: 1 - 20
DOI: 10.4401/ag-8618
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Copyright information: © 2021 the Author(s). All rights reserved. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 International.