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Spatial distribution of unidirectional trends in temperature and temperature extremes in Pakistan
- Khan, Najeebullah, Shahid, Shamsuddin, Ismail, Tarmizi bin, Wang, Xiao-Jun
- Theoretical and applied climatology 2019 v.136 no.3-4 pp. 899-913
- anthropogenic activities, arid zones, climate change, coasts, cold, heat, surface temperature, Pakistan
- Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries of the world to temperature extremes due to its predominant arid climate and geographic location in the fast temperature rising zone. Spatial distribution of the trends in annual and seasonal temperatures and temperature extremes over Pakistan has been assessed in this study. The gauge-based gridded daily temperature data of Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) having a spatial resolution of 1° × 1° was used for the assessment of trends over the period 1960–2013 using modified Mann-Kendall test (MMK), which can discriminate the multi-decadal oscillatory variations from secular trends. The results show an increase in the annual average of daily maximum and minimum temperatures in 92 and 99% area of Pakistan respectively at 95% level of confidence. The annual temperature is increasing faster in southern high-temperature region compared to other parts of the country. The minimum temperature is rising faster (0.17–0.37 °C/decade) compared to maximum temperature (0.17–0.29 °C/decade) and therefore declination of diurnal temperature range (DTR) (− 0.15 to − 0.08 °C/decade) in some regions. The annual numbers of both hot and cold days are increasing in whole Pakistan except in the northern sub-Himalayan region. Heat waves are on the rise, especially in the hot Sindh plains and the Southern coastal region, while the cold waves are becoming lesser in the northern cold region. Obtained results contradict with the findings of previous studies on temperature trends, which indicate the need for reassessment of climatic trends in Pakistan using the MMK test to understand the anthropogenic impacts of climate change.