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June Temperature Trends in the Southwest Deserts of the USA (1950–2018) and Implications for Our Urban Areas

School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5302, USA
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120800
Received: 7 November 2019 / Revised: 3 December 2019 / Accepted: 9 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrastructure Planning for Urban Climate Moderation)
Within the United States, the Southwest USA deserts show the largest temperature changes (1901–2010) besides Alaska, according to the most recent USA National Climate Assessment report. The report does not discuss urban effects vs. regional effects that might be evident in trends. Twenty-five temperature stations with ca. 68-year records (1950 to 2018) have been accessed from US Global Historical Climate Network archives. Land cover data are accessed from a National Land Cover Database. June results considering both urban and rural sites show an astounding rate per year change among sites ranging from −0.01 to 0.05 °C for maximum temperatures and 0.01 to 0.11 °C for minimum temperatures (−0.8 to 3.2 °C, and 0.8 to 8.0 °C for the entire period). For maximum temperatures, almost half of the sites showed no significant trends at a stringent 0.01 level of statistical significance, but 20 of 25 were significant at the 0.05 level. For minimum temperatures, over 75% of sites were significant at the 0.01 level (92% at 0.05 level of significance). The urban-dominated stations in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma show large minimum temperature trends, indicating emerging heat island effects. Rural sites, by comparison, show much smaller trends. Addressing heat in our urban areas by local actions, through collaborations with stakeholders and political resolve, will aid in meeting future urban challenges in this era of projected global climate change and continued warming. View Full-Text
Keywords: June mean monthly maximum and minimum temperatures; desert SW USA; trends; urban; rural areas; local climate zones; land cover June mean monthly maximum and minimum temperatures; desert SW USA; trends; urban; rural areas; local climate zones; land cover
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Brazel, A. June Temperature Trends in the Southwest Deserts of the USA (1950–2018) and Implications for Our Urban Areas. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 800.

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