Colorado mountains

Analyzing air temperature trends in spatially distributed long-term records at and across LTER sites

Air temperature and its associated exchange of sensible heat are fundamental variables and processes defining the state and energy exchange of ecosystems across biomes. Their dynamics have important impact on species by defining thermal microclimates and driving phenology, and interact intensely with a site’s hydrologic cycle. As climate change continues to affect the thermal regime in ecosystems of all latitudes, it is crucial to detect and quantify this change. LTER sites are rich data sources for trend analysis in air temperature records since they often feature high-resolution long-term observations from sensor networks across a large elevational range and land surface covers.

In this workshop, we will attempt to i) compile a summary of works to date analyzing air temperature records at and across LTER sites, ii) discuss effective methods for data preparation and trend analysis suitable for spatially distributed temperature data, and iii) formulate major hypotheses underlying temperature trends in complex landscapes and across biomes, and iv) gauge the need and attendees’ interest for a cross-site synthesis of temperature trends.

Our strategy will be to provide an introductory session for which we will precompile a list of publications investigating air temperature trends at LTER sites. Participants are encouraged to submit pertinent papers to the organizers prior to the ASM. As a starting point for the discussion on methods, we will provide a brief summary of a recent trend analysis at the HJ Andrews Experimental forest (AND) using data collected over 1958-2011 from up to 30 different stations. The intent of the working group is to identify interested collaborators and to develop a draft proposal that may serve as the basis for a synthesis activity in the near future.

Christoph Thomas
Julia Jones
Sharon Stammerjohn
Jose Fuentes
Whendee Silver
Preferred date(s): 
Sept 10
Number of 2 hour sessions requested: 
Room Assignment: 
Longs Peak - Keyhole (60)

Background Photo by: Nicole Hansen - Jornada (JRN) LTER