ABSTRACT Variability of wintertime surface air temperature (SAT) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is studied. The study is based on time series over thirty one years in length (1978-2008). For the analysis, we use the coefficient of variability (COV) Mann-Kendal statistical test, running mean and cumulative annual mean (CAM). The coefficient of variability (COV) for wintertime SAT decreases gradually from the north to the south of KSA. The higher values for COV occur in northern and northeastern KSA; there are due to the effect of the traveling Mediterranean depressions and their interaction with the inverted-V shape trough of the Sudan low. The relationship between COV and latitude is highly significant, while with longitude it is not significant. The Mann-Kendal statistical test illustrates that positive trends (warming) in wintertime SAT series occurs over the all stations, and that the trends are significant at middle and southern regions of KSA. Recent warming has only occurred during the last two decades at most stations. While cooling in the wintertime SAT appears for the short period of about 5 years, 1978-1983 and 1988-1992. These trends are consistence with trends in the global mean SAT. The results obtained from CAW lead to the conclusion that the thermic regime is modifying in the KSA. This dramatic enhancement, occurred at the beginning of the year 1993, is reflected in net modification in the SAT time series. The analysis of the SAT also shows a significant warming trend after the year 1997 with a rate of 0.03?C/year.
Cite this paper
H. Hasanean and A. AL-Khalaf, "Variability of Wintertime Surface Air Temperature over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 307-321. doi: 10.4236/acs.2012.23028.
 T. M. L. Wigley, P. D. Jones and P. M. Kelly, “Empirical Climate Studies: Warm World Scenarios and the Detection of Climatic Change Induced by Radiatively Active Gases,” In: B. Bolin, J. J?ger and B. R. D??s, Eds., The Greenhouse Effect, Climatic Change, and Ecosystems, John Wiley, New York, 1986, pp. 271-323.
H. W. Ellsaesser, M. C. MacCracken, J. J. Walton and S. L. Grotch, “Global Climatic Trends as Revealed by the Recorded Data,” Reviews of Geophysics, Vol. 24, No. 4, 1986, pp. 745-792.
IPCC, “The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability-A Special Report of IPCC Working Group,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998.
Y. Li, “A Phase Space EOF Method and Its Application to Climate Diagnosis,” Plateau Meteorology, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2001, pp. 88-93.
M. Yan, D. Wei and C. Panqin, “Analysis of Climate Jumps in the Sanjiang Plain,” Scientia Geographica Sinica, Vol. 23, No. 6, 2003, pp. 661-667.
IPCC, “Climate Change: The Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policymakers,” Contribution of the Working Group 1 to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007, 21pp.
F. Zhao, Z. Xu and J. Huang, “Long-Term Trend and Abrupt Change for Major Climate Variables in the Upper Yellow River Basin,” Acta Meteorologica Sinica, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2008, pp. 204-214.
K. Hu, G. Huang and R. Huang, “The Impact of Tropical Indian Ocean Variability on Summer Surface Air Temperature in China,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 24, No. 20, 2011, pp. 5365-5377. doi:10.1175/2011JCLI4152.1
C. R. Bryant, B. Smit, M. Brklacich, T. R. Johnston, J. Smithers, Q. Chiotti and B. Singh, “Adaptation in Canadian Agriculture to Climatic Variability and Change,” Climate Change, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2000, pp. 181-201.
P. D. Jones, “Hemispheric Surface Air Temperature Variations: Recent Trends and an Update to 1987,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 1, No. 6, 1988, pp. 654-660.
T. M. Smith and W. R. Reynolds, “A Global Merged Land-Air-Sea Surface Temperature Reconstruction Based on Historical Observations (1980-1997),” Journal of Climate, Vol. 18, No. 12, 2005, pp. 2021-2036.
J. E. Hansen, R. Ruedy, M. Sato, M. Imhoff, W. Lawrence, D. Easterling and T. Karl, “A Closer Look at United States and Global Surface Temperature Change,” Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 106, No. D20, 2001, pp. 23947-23963. doi:10.1029/2001JD000354
V. Conrad and C. Pollack, “Methods in Climatology,” Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1962, p. 459.
R. Heino, “Climate in Finland during the Period of Meteorological Observations,” Academic Dissertation, Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, 1994, p. 209.
J. M. Mitchell, B. Dzerdzeevskii, H. Flohn and W. L. Hofmery, “Climatic Change,” World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Technical Note, No. 195, Geneva, 1966, 79 pages.
E. S. Pearson and H. O. Hartley, “Biometrika Tables for Statisticians,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1958, p. 240.
Q. Hu, C. M. Woodruff and S. E. Mudrick, “Interdecadal Variations of Annual Precipitation in the Central United States,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 79, No. 2, 1998, pp. 221-229.
R. Shapiro, “Linear Filtering,” Mathematical Computation, Vol. 29, No. 132, 1975, pp. 1094-1097.
R. Sneyers “On the Statistical Analysis of Series of Observations,” World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Technical Note, No. 143, Geneva, 1990, p. 192.
C. D. Schonwiese and J. Rapp, “Climate Trend Atlas of Europe: Based on Observations 1891-1990,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 18, No. 5, 1998, pp. 580-581.
H. M. Hasanean, “Wintertime Surface Temperature in Egypt in Relation to the Associated Atmospheric Circulation,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 24, No. 8, 2004, pp. 985-999. doi:10.1002/joc.1043
R. Huth, “Testing of Trends in Data Unevenly Distributed in Time,” Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 64, No. 3-4, 1999, pp. 151-162. doi:10.1007/s007040050119
E. G. Pavia and F. Graef, “The Recent Rainfall Climatology of the Mediterranean Californias,” Journal of Climate, Vol. 15, No. 18, 2002, pp. 2697-2701.