Working Papers 2011 – Abstracts
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Global Temperature Trends
Trevor Breusch and Farshid Vahid
Are global temperatures on a warming trend? It is difficult to be certain about trends when there is so much variation in the data and very high correlation from year to year. We investigate the question using statistical time series methods. Our analysis shows that the upward movement over the last 130-160 years is persistent and not explained by the high correlation, so it is best described as a trend. The warming trend becomes steeper after the mid-1970s, but there is no significant evidence for a break in trend in the late 1990s. Viewed from the perspective of 30 or 50 years ago, the temperatures recorded in most of the last decade lie above the confidence band of forecasts produced by a model that does not allow for a warming trend.
Keywords: Land and ocean temperatures; deterministic and stochastic trends; persistence; piecewise linear trends