Variability, cycles, and trends of mean air temperature north of Colombia

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Andrea Patricia Manrique-Cantillo
Enrique de Jesús Morales-Acuña
Jean Rogelio Linero-Cueto


Climate variability is of global interest due to its socioeconomic and environmental effects on the world’s population. In Colombia, temperature changes affect food security, especially for the most vulnerable people in the Caribbean region. We analyzed monthly air temperature in northeastern Colombia (Cesar, La Guajira, and Magdalena departments). We reconstructed time series with missing data using nonlinear principal component analysis. Subsequently, temporal variability, associations with events of climatic variability, and temporal trends were evaluated. Periodicity analyses indicate the dominance of annual variability, although statistically significant associations with periods between 3 and 7 years show the influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. The Spearman correlation coefficient with N = 360 and 95% significance shows a better association with the Multivariate ENSO Index (rsp mean = 0.38) and the Southern Oscillation Index (rsp mean = –0.32). The multi-year monthly analysis shows positive trends, with maximum values between March (1.04 ºC month–1), and June (1.07 ºC month–1) in the valley of the Cesar department, and a minimum in March, at the northernmost La Guajira (0.2 ºC month–1).


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