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A Reappraisal of the Thermal Growing Season Length across Europe

RC Cornes, G van der Schrier, AA Squintu

Growing season length (GSL) indices derived from surface air temperature are frequently
used in climate monitoring applications. The widely used Expert Team on
Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI) definition aims to give a broadly
applicable measure of the GSL that is indicative of the duration of the mild part of
the year. In this paper long-term trends in that index are compared with an alternative
measure calculated using a time series decomposition technique (empirical
ensemble mode decomposition [EEMD]). It is demonstrated that the ETCCDI
index departs from the mild-season definition as its start and end dates are determined
by temperature events operating within the synoptic timescale; this raises
the inter-annual variance of the index. The EEMD-derived index provides a less
noisy and more realistic index of the GSL by filtering out the synoptic-scale variance
and capturing the annual-cycle and longer timescale variability. Long-term
trends in the GSL are comparable between the two indices, with an average
increase in length of around 5 days/decade observed for the period 1965–2016.
However, the results using the EEMD index display a more coherent picture of significant
trends than has been previously observed. Furthermore, the EEMD-derived
growing season parameters are more closely related to variations in seasonal-mean
hemispheric-scale atmospheric circulation patterns, with around 57% of the interannual
variation in the start of the growing season being connected to the North
Atlantic Oscillation and East Atlantic patterns, and around 55% of variation in the
end of the growing season being associated with East Atlantic/west Russia-type

Bibliografische gegevens

RC Cornes, G van der Schrier, AA Squintu. A Reappraisal of the Thermal Growing Season Length across Europe
Status: published, Journal: Int. J. Climatology, Year: 2018, doi: doi:10.1002/joc.5913

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