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Article

Evaluation of the Homogenization Adjustments Applied to European Temperature Records in the Global Historical Climatology Network Dataset

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School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield, D04 Dublin, Ireland
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Center for Environmental Research and Earth Science (CERES), Salem, MA 01970, USA
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Independent Researcher, D01 Dublin, Ireland
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Institute of Earth Physics and Space Science (ELKH EPSS), H-9400 Sopron, Hungary
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Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie and Geodynamik (ZAMG), Hohe Warte 38, 1190 Wien, Austria
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CLINTEL Foundation, Zekeringstraat 41, 1014 BV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Independent Researcher, 5751 HM Deurne, The Netherlands
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Electrical Engineering, Helmut-Schmidt-University, Holstenhofweg 85, 22043 Hamburg, Germany
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Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, 833 15 Bratislava, Slovakia
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National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Akad. G. Bonchev Str., Bl. 3, Room 327, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
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Department of Meteorology and Climatology, Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management, Nicolaus Copernicus University, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
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Centre for Climate Change Research, Nicolaus Copernicus University, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
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Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute, 03028 Kyiv, Ukraine
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Center for Climate Change C3, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43480 Tarragona, Spain
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Department of Agronomy, National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, 03041 Kyiv, Ukraine
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Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, 603 00 Brno, Czech Republic
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Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Brno Regional Office, 616 67 Brno, Czech Republic
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Department of Climatology, Jagiellonian University, 7 Gronostajowa St., 30-387 Kraków, Poland
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Institute of Meteorology and Water Management—National Research Institute, 61 Podleśna St., 01-673 Warszawa, Poland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Amal Chandran
Atmosphere 2022, 13(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13020285
Received: 13 January 2022 / Revised: 5 February 2022 / Accepted: 6 February 2022 / Published: 8 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Homogenization Methods for Climate Records)
The widely used Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) monthly temperature dataset is available in two formats—non-homogenized and homogenized. Since 2011, this homogenized dataset has been updated almost daily by applying the “Pairwise Homogenization Algorithm” (PHA) to the non-homogenized datasets. Previous studies found that the PHA can perform well at correcting synthetic time series when certain artificial biases are introduced. However, its performance with real world data has been less well studied. Therefore, the homogenized GHCN datasets (Version 3 and 4) were downloaded almost daily over a 10-year period (2011–2021) yielding 3689 different updates to the datasets. The different breakpoints identified were analyzed for a set of stations from 24 European countries for which station history metadata were available. A remarkable inconsistency in the identified breakpoints (and hence adjustments applied) was revealed. Of the adjustments applied for GHCN Version 4, 64% (61% for Version 3) were identified on less than 25% of runs, while only 16% of the adjustments (21% for Version 3) were identified consistently for more than 75% of the runs. The consistency of PHA adjustments improved when the breakpoints corresponded to documented station history metadata events. However, only 19% of the breakpoints (18% for Version 3) were associated with a documented event within 1 year, and 67% (69% for Version 3) were not associated with any documented event. Therefore, while the PHA remains a useful tool in the community’s homogenization toolbox, many of the PHA adjustments applied to the homogenized GHCN dataset may have been spurious. Using station metadata to assess the reliability of PHA adjustments might potentially help to identify some of these spurious adjustments. View Full-Text
Keywords: temperature homogenization; non-climatic biases; station metadata; climate change; European temperature changes temperature homogenization; non-climatic biases; station metadata; climate change; European temperature changes
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MDPI and ACS Style

O’Neill, P.; Connolly, R.; Connolly, M.; Soon, W.; Chimani, B.; Crok, M.; de Vos, R.; Harde, H.; Kajaba, P.; Nojarov, P.; Przybylak, R.; Rasol, D.; Skrynyk, O.; Skrynyk, O.; Štěpánek, P.; Wypych, A.; Zahradníček, P. Evaluation of the Homogenization Adjustments Applied to European Temperature Records in the Global Historical Climatology Network Dataset. Atmosphere 2022, 13, 285. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13020285

AMA Style

O’Neill P, Connolly R, Connolly M, Soon W, Chimani B, Crok M, de Vos R, Harde H, Kajaba P, Nojarov P, Przybylak R, Rasol D, Skrynyk O, Skrynyk O, Štěpánek P, Wypych A, Zahradníček P. Evaluation of the Homogenization Adjustments Applied to European Temperature Records in the Global Historical Climatology Network Dataset. Atmosphere. 2022; 13(2):285. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13020285

Chicago/Turabian Style

O’Neill, Peter, Ronan Connolly, Michael Connolly, Willie Soon, Barbara Chimani, Marcel Crok, Rob de Vos, Hermann Harde, Peter Kajaba, Peter Nojarov, Rajmund Przybylak, Dubravka Rasol, Oleg Skrynyk, Olesya Skrynyk, Petr Štěpánek, Agnieszka Wypych, and Pavel Zahradníček. 2022. "Evaluation of the Homogenization Adjustments Applied to European Temperature Records in the Global Historical Climatology Network Dataset" Atmosphere 13, no. 2: 285. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13020285

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