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Analysing And Mapping Historic Weather Data

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Question:

Discuss about the Analysing And Mapping Historic Weather Data.

 

Answer:

Precipitation

From the variable deviations graph, we observe that the deviation from the 50 year average precipitation has decreased with time. The deviations were high in the earlier years with 1965 representing one of the highest positive deviations only second to 1978. 1968 represented the highest negative deviation.

In recent time however, the deviations from the mean have been smaller with 2015 representing among the smallest deviations.

However, in the last 15 years, there have been more cases of significantly high negative deviations, at below -4. 5 such cases have been recorded from the year 2000 onwards compared to only 2 cases between 1965 and 2000. This points to consistent reduction of precipitation below average for the city of San Diego, California.

High Annual Temperature

The trend for the deviations in the high annual temperature is characterised by more significant positive deviations than negative deviation from the 50 year average high annual temperature. It is only between the years 1999 and 2002 where the negative deviations go below -2.

Consistent high positive deviation was recorded between the years 1976 and 1984. However, the highest positive deviations from the 50 year average have been recorded in recent time in the years 2014 and 2015.

Due to more significant positive deviations compared to negative deviations, we can say that on average the climate of the city of San Diego in California has been getting warmer over time, with 2014 and 2015 representing their warmest periods.

 

Low Annual Temperature

The deviations from the 50 year average for the low annual temperature exhibit the same general trend as that of the deviations of the high annual temperature. However, there has been no significant negative deviations in recent time. There are only two instances where the negative deviations go below -2, in the years 1965 and 1975.

Just like in the high annual temperature deviations, consistent high positive deviation was recorded between the years 1976 and 1984, with 1984 having the highest positive deviations in the 50 year period. Significantly high positive deviations have also been recorded in recent time in the years 2014 and 2015.

With no significant negative deviations in recent times and comparing this to the numerous significant positive deviations leading up to the spike in the years 2014 and 2015, we can say that on average the climate of the city of San Diego in California has been getting warmer with time with 2014 and 2015 representing their warmest periods in recent time.      

From the map, in 1884 four major areas had the lowest temperature difference (highest negative difference). These areas are Northern Canada and Greenland near the Arctic Circle in the North Pole, the north of South America in Venezuela and Central Russia. The only region that majorly had the highest temperature difference (highest positive difference) in 1884, was the western regions of Africa, from Guinea through to Mauritania.

In 2011 however, the map indicates an evenly distributed high temperature change across all continents with the exception of a section of the coast of Antarctica which indicates a negative temperature change. Some sections of the Pacific Oceans also have a relatively low temperature change. The changes between 1884 and 2011 cannot, however, be said to be an exclusive trend of consistent global increase in temperature difference. The trend is only general, with few years in between representing outliers, when significantly low temperature differences (negative temperature difference) were experienced.

Northern Canada, Greenland and the Arctic Circle in general have experienced the greatest changes between 1884 and 2011. The region has moved from temperature differences of between -1 and below -2 to temperature differences above 2.

In 1884, South Africa had a relatively low temperature difference (negative temperature difference) ranging from 0 to -1.5.

In 2011, the temperature difference was relatively, ranging between 0.5 and 1.5 throughout the country. The trend for South Africa, just like globally is more general than exclusive. It can be said that the temperature difference in South Africa has been generally rising over time, with few outlier years in between when the temperature differences were significantly low.

For South Africa therefore, we can conclude that the changes in temperature difference have been average compared to other regions in the world.

  1. In March of the year 2015, Mexico experienced extremely heavy rains. The rains were caused by severe storm systems resulting in precipitation that was over three times that of the monthly average for the month of March in Mexico. This was an anomaly since it represented the wettest March in Mexico since 1941 when the records began to be collected. According to (Lin, Tim, Bin, & Lu, 2017) the climatic conditions during this period were similar to those of a weak El Nino phenomenon.
  2. The Kwa Zulu Natal province in South Africa has experienced abnormal flooding events in recent times. The most severe of these events has been the October 10th to 11th flooding in the year 2017. The flooding resulted from severe storm systems on the east coast of South Africa. The storms caused strong winds, hail and heavy rains. The flooding, which was the worst in history for the Kwa Zulu Natal province is attributed to the increase in the global temperatures (global warming) and climate changes. The impacts of the flooding was mostly felt in the province’s largest city, Durban, where lives were lost as well as the city incurring massive infrastructural and financial losses. The flooding was also preceded by a dry season, which meant that it was the major factor in the food security crisis that followed in the province.

Another major weather anomaly is the dry season between July 2014 and June 2015. This was among the driest season in the history of South Africa. It was the driest since the dry season between 1991 and 1992.

Since the beginning of weather recording in South Africa in the year 1932, the July 2014 to June 2015 dry season was the second driest. These extremes in high temperatures and low precipitation according to (Oba, 2014) are indications of the impacts of climate change and global warming in South Africa.

 

Reference

Lin, C., Tim, L., Bin, W., & Lu, W. (2017). Formation Mechanism for 2015/16 Super El Nino. Scientific Reports, Scientific Reports.

Oba, P. G. (2014). Climate Change Adaptation in Africa. London: Taylor & Francis Group.

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