Creating a topoclimatic daily air temperature dataset for the conterminous United States using homogenized station data and remotely sensed land skin temperature

Jared W. Oyler, Ashley Ballantyne, Kelsey Jencso, Michael Sweet, Steven W. Running

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gridded topoclimatic datasets are increasingly used to drive many ecological and hydrological models and assess climate change impacts. The use of such datasets is ubiquitous, but their inherent limitations are largely unknown or overlooked particularly in regard to spatial uncertainty and climate trends. To address these limitations, we present a statistical framework for producing a 30-arcsec (~800-m) resolution gridded dataset of daily minimum and maximum temperature and related uncertainty from 1948 to 2012 for the conterminous United States. Like other datasets, we use weather station data and elevation-based predictors of temperature, but also implement a unique spatio-temporal interpolation that incorporates remotely sensed 1-km land skin temperature. The framework is able to capture several complex topoclimatic variations, including minimum temperature inversions, and represent spatial uncertainty in interpolated normal temperatures. Overall mean absolute errors for annual normal minimum and maximum temperature are 0.78 and 0.56°C, respectively. Homogenization of input station data also allows interpolated temperature trends to be more consistent with US Historical Climate Network trends compared to those of existing interpolated topoclimatic datasets. The framework and resulting temperature data can be an invaluable tool for spatially explicit ecological and hydrological modelling and for facilitating better end-user understanding and community-driven improvement of these widely used datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2258-2279
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Volume35
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Air temperature
  • Homogenization
  • Kriging
  • Land skin temperature
  • MODIS

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