Temporal and spatial temperature variability and change over Spain during 1850-2005

M. Brunet, P. D. Jones, J. Sigro, O. Saladie, E. Aguilar, A. Moberg, P. M. Della-Marta, D. Lister, A. Walther, D. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

202 Citations (Scopus)


We analyze temporal and spatial patterns of temperature change over Spain during the period 1850–2005, using daily maximum (Tmax), minimum (Tmin), and mean (Tmean) temperatures from the 22 longest and most reliable Spanish records. Over mainland Spain, a significant (at 0.01 level) warming of 0.10°C/decade is found for the annual average of Tmean. Autumn and winter contributed slightly more than spring and summer to the annual warming over the 1850–2005 period. The overall warming is also associated with higher rates of change for Tmax than Tmin (0.11° versus 0.08°C/decade for 1850–2005). This asymmetric diurnal warming increased in the twentieth century (0.17° versus 0.09°C/decade during 1901–2005). Nevertheless, at many (few) individual stations, the difference between Tmax and Tmin is not statistically significant over 1850–2005 (1901–2005). Principal Component Analysis has been carried out to identify spatial modes of Spanish long-term temperature variability (1901–2005). Three principal spatial patterns are found, Northern Spain, Southeastern and Eastern Spain, and Southwestern Spain. All three patterns show similar significant warming trends. The overall warming has been more associated with reductions in cold extremes, as opposed to increases in warm extremes. Estimated trends in the number of moderately extreme cold days (Tmax < 10th percentile) and moderately extreme cold nights (Tmin < 10th percentile) show significant reductions of 0.74 and 0.54 days/decade, respectively, over 1850–2005. Moderately extreme warm days and nights (Tmax and Tmin > 90th percentile) increased significantly but at lower rates of 0.53 and 0.49 days/decade.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberD12117
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Cite this