Air temperature in Novaya Zemlya Archipelago and Vaygach Island from 1832 to 1920 in the light of early instrumental data
Rajmund Przybylak & Przemysław Wyszyński,
In this article, the results of an investigation into the air temperature conditions in Novaya Zemlya Archipelago and Vaygach Island (NZR) from 1832 to 1920, on the basis of all available early instrumental data gathered during exploratory and scientific expeditions, are presented. Traditional analysis based on mean monthly data was supplemented by an approach less popular in the scientific literature, i.e. the additional use of daily data. Moreover, the daily data used were not limited only to mean daily air temperature, but include also maximum daily temperature, minimum daily temperature and diurnal temperature range. Such rich sets of data allowed for more comprehensive and precise recognition of air temperature conditions in the NZR. Based on these kinds of daily data, it was also possible to calculate the number of so-called ‘characteristic days’ (i.e. the number of days with temperatures exceeding specified thresholds) and day-to-day temperature variability and, for the first time, to determine different characteristics of thermal seasons (duration, onset and end dates) according to Baranowski’s (1968) proposition. The results were compared with contemporary temperature conditions (1981–2010) to estimate the range of their changes between historical and present times.
Analysis reveals that in 1832–1920, the NZR was markedly colder than today in all seasons. Coldest was autumn (on average by ca 5 °C), and least – summer (by 1.6 °C). Mean annual air temperature was colder than today by about 3 °C. The majority of mean monthly air temperatures in historical times lie within two standard deviations from the modern mean. This means that values of air temperature in historical times lie within the range of contemporary air temperature variability. Different air temperature characteristics calculated on the basis of daily data for the NZR for historical/contemporary periods also confirm the occurrence of climate warming between the studied periods.
Arctic; air temperature; early instrumental data
Citation: Przybylak, R. and Wyszyński, P. (2017), Air temperature in Novaya Zemlya Archipelago and Vaygach Island from 1832 to 1920 in the light of early instrumental data. Int. J. Climatol. 37: 3491-3508. doi: 10.1002/joc.4934
Version of Record online: 28 NOV 2016