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Problems With the Use of Climatological Data to Detect Climatic Change at High Latitudes,

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Although warming due to increased amounts of C02 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is predicted to be greatest in high latitudes, results of the GISS model have already indicated that the ratio of warming to interannual variability will be relatively small, which will make any change hard to detect Hansen et al., 1988. In addition, the climatological data set at high latitudes is scanty and subject to most of the same problems as those in the temperate zone. In fact, the extreme ground inversions, low sun angles, and seasonal polar night or continuous daylight conditions may lead to systematic errors with magnitudes much greater than would be predicted from midlatitude experience. The Alaskan record demonstrates possible magnitudes of some of these systematic errors. Both winter and summer heat island effects are large. Site changes including documentation problems may have unexpectedly large effects, and virtually the entire state was affected by a change in time zones made in 1983.

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This article is from 'Proceedings of the International Conference on the Role of the Polar Regions in Global Change Held in Fairbanks, Alaska on 11-15 June 1990. Volume 1', AD-A253 027, p206-209. See also Volume 2, AD-A253 028.



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