A Comparison of Climate Signal Trend Detection Uncertainty Analysis Methods

The core information for this publication's citation.: 
Phojanamongkolkij, N., S. Kato, B. Wielicki, P. C. Taylor, and M. Mlynczak (2014), A Comparison of Climate Signal Trend Detection Uncertainty Analysis Methods, J. Climate, 27, 3363-3376, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00400.1.
Abstract: 

Two climate signal trend analysis methods are the focus of this paper. The uncertainty of trend estimate from these two methods is investigated using Monte Carlo simulation. Several theoretically and randomly generated series of white noise, first-order autoregressive and second-order autoregressive, are explored. The choice of method that is most appropriate for the time series of interest depends upon the autocorrelation structure of the series. If the structure has its autocorrelation coefficients decreased with increasing lags (i.e., an exponential decay pattern), then the method of Weatherhead et al. is adequate. If the structure exhibits a decreasing sinusoid pattern of coefficient with lags (or a damped sinusoid pattern) or a mixture of both exponential decay and damped sinusoid patterns, then the method of Leroy et al. is recommended. The two methods are then applied to the time series of monthly and globally averaged top-of-the-atmosphere (TOA) irradiances for the reflected solar shortwave and emitted longwave regions, using radiance observations made by Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments during March 2000 through June 2011. Examination of the autocorrelation structures indicates that the reflected shortwave region has an exponential decay pattern, while the longwave region has a mixture of exponential decay and damped sinusoid patterns. Therefore, it is recommended that the method of Weatherhead et al. is used for the series of reflected shortwave irradiances and that the method of Leroy et al. is used for the series of emitted longwave irradiances.

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Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Mission: 
CLARREO