Seasonal and elevational contrasts in temperature trends in Central Chile between 1979 and 2015

Flavia Burger Acevedo, Benjamin Brock, Aldo Montecinos

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We analyze trends in temperature from 18 temperature stations and one upper air sounding site at 30°–35° S in central Chile between 1979–2015, to explore geographical and season temperature trends and their controls, using regional ocean-atmosphere indices. Significant warming trends are widespread at inland stations, while trends are non-significant or negative at coastal sites, as found in previous studies. However, ubiquitous warming across the region in the past 8 years, suggests the recent period of coastal cooling has ended. Significant warming trends are largely restricted to austral spring, summer and autumn seasons, with very few significant positive or negative trends in winter identified. Autumn warming is notably strong in the Andes, which, together with significant warming in spring, could help to explain the negative mass balance of snow and glaciers in the region. A strong Pacific maritime influence on regional temperature trends is inferred through correlation with the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) index and coastal sea surface temperature, but the strength of this influence rapidly diminishes inland, and the majority of valley, and all Andes, sites are independent of the IPO index. Instead, valley and Andes sites, and mid-troposphere temperature in the coastal radiosonde profile, show correlation with the autumn Antarctic Oscillation which, in its current positive phase, promotes subsidence and warming at the latitude of central Chile.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-147
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Early online date17 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


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