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Climate Change Indices

By: I Putu Santikayasa

Climate Change and Water Resources CE74.9002 Water Engineering and Management (WEM) School of Engineering and Technology (SET) Asian institute of Technology (AIT)

A main objective of constructing climate extremes indices is to use for climate change monitoring and detection studies Change in the frequency or severity of extreme climate events would have profound impacts on nature and society Very important to analyze extreme events Need daily data very difficult task

Need to develop, calculate, and analysis a suite of indices so that individuals, countries, and regions can calculate the indices in exactly the same way such that their analyses will fit seamlessly into the global picture Furthermore, need toolkits including software, documentation, and other material to guide the calculation and use of climate change detection indices and climate data homogenization, improvement of global coverage and assessment of indices.

Climate Indices
Climate indices is used to monitor climate change as and when is happens. The indices based on daily temperature and precipitation as data input Some of them based on thresholds that are relevant on particular application 40 indices was approved 27 indices consider to be core indices

Climate Indices
ID FD0 Summer days SU25 Ice days ID0 Annual count when TX(daily maximum)<0C Days Indicator name Frost days Annual count when TN(daily minimum)<0C Annual count maximum)>25C when TX(daily Days Days Definitions UNITS

Tropical nights

Annual count minimum)>20C




Climate Indices
Growing season Length GSL Annual (1st Jan to 31st Dec in NH, 1st July to 30th June in SH) count between first span of at least 6 days with TG>5C and first span Days after July 1 (January 1 in SH) of 6 days with TG<5C Monthly temp Monthly temp Monthly temp Monthly temp maximum value of daily maximum maximum value of daily minimum minimum value of daily maximum minimum value of daily minimum C C C C


Max Tmax Max Tmin Min Tmax Min Tmin

Climate Indices
Cool nights TN10p Percentage of days when TN<10th percentile Days

Cool days TX10p

Warm nights TN90p Warm days TX90p Warm spell duration indicator WSDI Percentage of days when TX>90th percentile Days Percentage of days when TN>90th percentile Days

Percentage of days when TX<10th percentile


Annual count of days with at least 6 Days consecutive days when TX>90th percentile

Climate Indices
Cold spell duration indicator Diurnal temperature range Annual count of days with at least 6 Days consecutive days when TN<10th percentile


Monthly mean difference between TX and TN C


Max 1-day precipitation amount

Max 5-day precipitation amount Simple daily intensity index

Monthly maximum 1-day precipitation



Monthly maximum precipitation





Annual total precipitation divided by the Mm/d number of wet days (defined as ay PRCP>=1.0mm) in the year

Climate Indices
Number of heavy precipitation days Annual count of days when PRCP>=10mm Number of very heavy Annual count of days when PRCP>=20mm precipitation days





Number of days above nn mm

Consecutive dry days Consecutive wet days

Annual count of days when PRCP>=nn mm, Days nn is user defined threshold Maximum number of consecutive days with Days RR<1mm Maximum number of consecutive days with Days RR>=1mm



Climate Indices
Very wet days
R95p Annual total PRCP when RR>95th percentile Mm

Extremely wet days R99p Annual total PRCP when RR>99th percentile mm

Annual total wetday precipitation PRCPTOT Annual total PRCP in wet days (RR>=1mm) mm

Climdex : Microsoft Excel based program that provides an easy-to-use software package for the calculation of indices of climate extremes for monitoring and detecting climate change Developed by Byron Gleason at the National Climate Data Centre (NCDC) of NOAA, and has been used in CCl/CLIVAR workshops on climate indices since 2001

Climdex v.s RClimdex

Climdex Ms. Excel platform Running under Window Difficult to fix the bug RClimdex R platform Free Powerfull for statistical analysis Running under window and unix Relatively easy to fix the bug

Rclimdex ver. 1.3

Used to calculate climate change indices 27 core indices recommended by the CCl/CLIVAR Expert Team for Climate Change Detection Monitoring and Indices (ETCCDMI) Developed under R 1.84 or higher Limitation:
Simple data quality control Not include Data homogenization

Please Remember!!:
1. 2. 3. Not all indices are calculated on a monthly basis. Monthly indices are calculated if no more than 3 days are missing in a month, while annual values are calculated if no more than 15 days are missing in a year. No annual value will be calculated if any one months data are missing. For threshold indices, a threshold is calculated if at least 70% of data are present. For spell duration indicators (marked with a *), a spell can continue into the next year and is counted against the year in which the spell ends e.g. a cold spell (CSDI) in the Northern Hemisphere beginning on 31st December 2000 and ending on 6th January 2001 is counted towards the total number of cold spells in 2001


Software and user manual :


How to use RClimdex

R software is required to run Rclimdex Connect to R Project website:

Download * Install the program *For window user : download window setup For unix user: download proper precompiled binaries (source code may need to be downloaded and compiled)

How to use RClimdex

Data format: 1. ASCII text file 2. Columns as following sequences: Year, Month, Day, PRCP, TMAX, TMIN. (NOTE: PRCP units = millimeters and Temperature units= degrees Celsius) 3. The format as described above must be space delimited 4. Missing data must be coded as -99.9; data records must be in calendar date order. Missing dates allowed.

How to use RClimdex

Sample data:

Year Month


TMax (oC) Precipitation (mm)

TMin (oC)

How to use RClimdex

3. Indices Calculation 2. Load Data->Run QC 1. Load RClimdex

Load RClimdex

Load Data->Run QC

Indices Calculation

1. R consol prompt > Type: source (rclimdex path)

source("C:\\climateindices\\rclimdex.r") source (http://cccma.seos.uvic.ca/ETCCDMI/RClimDex/rclimdex.r )

2. File > Source R code

Load RClimdex

Load Data->Run QC

Indices Calculation

Prerequisite for indices calculations Replace all missing values (currently coded as 99.9) into an internal format that R recognizes Replace all unreasonable values into NA

What will be checked?

Daily precipitation amounts less than zero Daily maximum temperature less than daily minimum temperature QC also identifies outliers in daily maximum and minimum temperature The outliers are daily values outside a region defined by the user Unreasonable values are identified automatically but identification of outliers in temperature data requires input from the user

Data QC files
____tempQC.csv unreasonable temperature ____prcpQC.csv unreasonable precipitation ____tepstdQC.csv all possible outliers in daily temperature with the dates on which those outliers occur ____indcal.csv QCd data and will be used for the indices calculation

Load RClimdex

Load Data->Run QC

Indices Calculation

RClimDex is capable of computing all 27 core indices Parameter input:

First and last year of base period for the threshold calculation Station Latitude (SH negative) daily precipitation threshold, P (in mm) Upper and Limit of Day High Upper and Limit of Day Low

Load RClimdex

Load Data->Run QC

Indices Calculation

Selection of indices Result will be stored as excel file and jpeg format Jpeg format: trends computed by linear least square (solid line) and locally weighted linear regression (dashed line)

Class exercise

Case study:

Analyze climate change indices by using data from your country Due date: 29th March 2012 Submitted to Dr. Sangam

Thank you Have a nice day