An extreme climate transition in the Caribbean's Virgin Islands. I. Evidence of teleconnection with the 1976/1977 Pacific climate shift

N. Brice Orange, David L. Chesny, Avram G. Primack, Bruce Gendre, Sandra N. Maina, Timothy W. Giblin, David C. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the Caribbean's Virgin Islands' climate variability over the last 60years from indices of extreme temperature and precipitation, as well as their quantitative support for a recent climatic shift (1983.2 +/- 5.5 years). The region's climate indices (defined via time series averages) and trends (defined via linear least squares regression fitting) of extreme temperature and precipitation were cross-examined from 1952, 1961, 1978, and 1983-2014 to diagnose: the area's climatic extremes; a climatic transition's role in assessing decadal climate anomaly rates; and to provide an analytically independent test of the transition's existence. Analyses relied on the use of varying physical constraints to include weighting from statistical and non-statistical uncertainties in our climatic outcomes. We report that diurnal warming and enhanced precipitation accompanied each interval, however, non-negligible deviations existed in comparisons between the same anomalies in any 2 intervals. Our Virgin Islands' long (1952, 1961-2014) versus short (1978, 1983-2014) climate variation comparisons provide evidence for the manifestation of decadal (or longer) shifts, and thus, biases, in recent Caribbean reports. Our climatic transition's overlap with the renowned 1976/1977 Pacific event insinuates a local Caribbean teleconnection, and contributes to the evidence growing globally for 1980s' shifts in an abundance of feedback measures of Earth's energy budget.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2730-2742
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

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