Analysis of interdecadal variability of temperature extreme events in Argentina applying EVT

B. TENCER, M. RUSTICUCCI

Abstract

The frequency of occurrence of temperature extreme events has changed throughout the last century: significant positive trends in warm nights and negative trends in cold nights have been observed all over the world. In Argentina, the probability of occurrence of warm annual extremes of maximum temperature has decreased in the last decades, while there has been an increase in warm annual extremes of minimum temperature. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate observed interdecadal changes in the distribution of temperature events that exceed a fixed threshold in five meteorological stations from Argentina over the period 1941-2000, by applying the extreme value theory (EVT). The availability of daily data allows fitting a generalized Pareto distribution (GPD) to daily temperature anomalies over the 90th or below the 10th percentile, in order to estimate return values of extreme events. Daily temperature anomalies are divided into three consecutive and non-overlapping subperiods of 20 years. GPD is fitted to each subperiod independently and a comparison is made between return values estimated in each subperiod. Results show that there is a decrease in the intensity of warm extreme events during the whole period, together with an
increase in its frequency of occurrence during the last 20 years of the twentieth century. Cold extremes also
show a decrease in their intensity. However, changes in their frequency of occurrence are not so consistent
between the different stations analyzed.

Keywords

Temperature extreme events; generalized Pareto distribution; return values; Argentina

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