Climate and climate change in the region of Los Tuxtlas (Veracruz, Mexico): A statistical analysis

G. GUTIÉRREZ-GARCÍA, M. RICKER

Abstract

This article describes temperature and precipitation patterns of Los Tuxtlas region in southern Veracruz (México). The region is defined here as the volcanic landscape above 100 m elevation (except at the coast), and comprises 315 525 hectares, including a 155 122-hectare biosphere reserve. The area has an elevational gradient from sea level to 1720 m, with two different climates according to Köppen’s climate classification: humid tropical (type A) at low and middle elevations, and moist with mild winters (type C) at high elevations. Our study is based on data from 24 meteorological stations, with varying data records between 1925 and 2006. For each of eleven principal stations, inhomogeneities and unrealistic outliers were corrected with standard methods, and descriptive statistics were calculated. Among these stations, the 30-year average annual mean temperature varies from 24.1 to 27.2 ºC, and the average annual precipitation from 1272 to 4201 mm. Additional measurements indicate locations with over 7000 mm average annual precipitation at higher elevations. Based on this data, and spatial inter and extrapolation modeling with ANUSPLIN, we present three new maps for Los Tuxtlas: for temperature, precipitation, and Holdridge life zones. The time series of temperature and precipitation over 48 years was analyzed with linear regression, employing generalized least squares. There is a highly significant spatial gradient among meteorological stations in both temperature and precipitation, but only a very low and non-significant upward trend in temperature over the years (0.016 ºC per decade). The trend in precipitation is downward, but statistically even less significant (0.23% per decade). Linear regression between annual mean temperature and annual precipitation data predicts such opposite changes between the two variables.

Keywords

ANUSPLIN; climate change; ProClimDB; Los Tuxtlas; México

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