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An Isaac Newton Institute Workshop

First-Passage and Extreme Value Problems in Random Processes

On the Role of Global Warming on the Statistics of Record-Breaking Temperatures

27th June 2006

Author: Redner, S (Boston University)


We theoretically study long-term statistics of record-breaking daily temperatures and validate these predictions by simulations, and by comparing with 126 years of daily temperature data from the city of Philadelphia. Using extreme statistics, we derive the number and the magnitude of record temperature events, based on the observed Gaussian daily temperature distribution in Philadelphia. We then consider the effect of global warming on record temperature events. The current warming rate is insufficient to measurably influence the frequency of these events over the time range of the available observations.