Discriminants of twentieth-century changes in earth surface temperatures

T. Schneider, I. M. Held

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67 Scopus citations


An approach to identifying climate changes is presented that does not hinge on simulations of natural climate variations or anthropogenic changes. Observed interdecadal climate variations are decomposed into several' discriminants, mutually uncorrelated spatiotemporal components with a maximal ratio of interdecadal-to-intradecadal variance. The dominant discriminants of twentieth-century variations in surface temperature exhibit large-scale warming in which, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere summer months, localized cooling is embedded. The structure of the large-scale warming is consistent with expected effects of increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. The localized cooling, with maxima on scales of 1000-2000 km over East Asia, eastern Europe, and North America, is suggestive of radiative effects of anthropogenic sulfate aerosols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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