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Homogenization and assessment of observed near-surface wind speed trends across Sweden, 1956-2013

Journal article
Authors Lorenzo Minola
Cesar Azorin-Molina
Deliang Chen
Published in Journal of Climate
Volume 29
Issue 20
Pages 7397-7415
ISSN 0894-8755
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 7397-7415
Language en
Keywords Climate variability, North Atlantic Oscillation, Trends, Wind
Subject categories Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences


© 2016 American Meteorological Society.Multidecadal variability of observed near-surface wind speed from 24 stations across Sweden has been analyzed for 1956-2013, with a focus on 1979-2008 (incorporating an additional 9 stations) for comparison with previous studies. Wind speed data have been subjected to a robust data processing protocol, consisting of quality control, reconstruction, and homogenization, by using geostrophic wind speed series as reference. The homogenized dataset displays a significant (at p < 0.05) downward trend for 1956-2013 (-0.06 m s-1 decade-1) and an even larger decreasing trend for 1979-2008 (-0.14 m s-1 decade-1). However, differences have been observed seasonally, with significant decreasing values in spring, summer, and autumn and a small downward trend in winter for 1956-2013. Most interestingly, a nonsignificant wind speed increase has been detected in winter for 1979-2008, which contrasts with the marked "stilling" reported for this season in much of midlatitude regions. The decreasing rate in wind speed is larger for coastal stations and in the southern part of Sweden. Decreasing trends were found at 91.7% of the stations during summer, whereas 58.3% of the stations displayed decreasing trends in winter. On the contrary, increasing trends occurred in 41.7% of the stations for winter and in only 8.3% for summer. The possible impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index has also been investigated, showing evidence that the small increasing trend in winter for 1979-2008 is hypothetically associated with the positive tendency of the NAO index during the last decades. These results reveal the influence of large-scale atmospheric circulation on wind speed variability across Sweden.

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