New data acquisitions are used to examine recent global trends in maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and the diurnal temperature range (DTR). On average, the analysis covers the equivalent of 71% of the total global land area, 17% more than in previous studies. Consistent with the IPCC Third Assessment Report, minimum temperature increased more rapidly than maximum temperature (0.204 vs. 0.141°C dec−1) from 1950–2004, resulting in a significant DTR decrease (−0.066°C dec−1). In contrast, there were comparable increases in minimum and maximum temperature (0.295 vs. 0.287°C dec−1) from 1979–2004, muting recent DTR trends (−0.001°C dec−1). Minimum and maximum temperature increased in almost all parts of the globe during both periods, whereas a widespread decrease in the DTR was only evident from 1950–1980.
Geophysical Research Letters – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2005
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