Climate change along the arid coast of northern Chile

Année de publication



International Journal of Climatology 32 1803 1814 12


Long‐term precipitation records from the extremely arid northern coast of Chile (18°S–30°S) were analysed to assess changes occurring at different time scales. Results are presented here along with a discussion on changes in the temperature and cloudiness regimes in order to offer a more comprehensive overview of the climate evolution in this extremely arid region. Apart from a significant influence of ENSO on the rainfall regime, characterized by a tendency for more frequent rainfall events during El Niño episodes, changes at the decadal time scale were identified in association with the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). Thus, the warm IPO‐phase is associated with increased precipitation, while the opposite occurs during the cold IPO‐phase. Changes occurring at the interannual and decadal time scales are superimposed on a long‐term precipitation decline during the 20th century. Apart from the intensified dryness, the temperature records show a positive long‐term trend resulting mainly from an abrupt warming in the mid‐1970s, principally associated with a marked upwards shift of the minimum daily temperature, coinciding with the change from the cold to the warm phase of the IPO. However, the period following this step‐like warming has been characterized by a persistent cooling trend, most evident in the maximum daily temperature, which is coherent with a negative trend in the sea surface temperature over a large oceanic region off the coast of northern Chile. In the northernmost region, this behaviour in the temperature regime was accompanied by a strong decrease in cloudiness since the 1970s. The negative trend in rainfall and the decrease in the total cloud cover are certainly important factors that could explain the coastal vegetation decline over the past decades in the coastal region north of 24°S. Copyright © 2011 Royal Meteorological Society

Type de publication
  • journal
Type de document
  • article
Classification - Inist-CNRS
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
Classification - Scopus
  • 1 - Physical Sciences
  • 2 - Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • 3 - Atmospheric Science
Classification - Science Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - earth & environmental sciences
  • 3 - meteorology & atmospheric sciences
Classification - Clarivate Analytics (Subject Category)
  • 1 - science
  • 2 - meteorology & atmospheric sciences
Termes extraits

precipitation; antofagasta; northern chile; chile; arica; rutllant; cloudiness; garreaud; serena; enso; interannual; copyright; climatol; arid coast; iquique; interdecadal; climate change; aceituno; negative trend; oktas; coastal desert; climatology; total cloud; anomaly; geophysical; fuenzalida; temperature regime; montecinos; subtropical; rainfall; recent decades; extratropical; santiago; decadal; central chile; geophysical research; international journal; quintana; coastal region; rainy days; positive trend; variability; schulz; arid; coastal; base height; past century; coastal area; climate shift; rainfall events; interannual variability; surface temperature; study area; warm phase; lower stratosphere; cloudless days; annual temperature; stationary condition; second half; daily precipitation; annual frequency; several studies; interdecadal oscillation; atacama desert; whole period; rainfall episodes; large oceanic region; cloudy days; northern part; cloud deck; recent years; temperature cloud; rainfall variability; rainfall regime; loma vegetation; climate dynamics; international conference; annual precipitation; precipitation series; other stations; homogeneity test; precipitation decline; minimum temperature; cloudiness regime; southern fringe; austral winter; lowfrequency changes; large interannual variability; negative phase; negative values; precipitation records; annual rainfall; temperature inversion; meteorological stations; high latitudes; decadal time scale; precipitation anomalies; remarkable feature; rainfall evolution; downward trend; past decades; revista chilena; positive trends; large extent; inversion layer; cloudiness regimes; temperature anomalies; other regions; pressure levels; temperature evolution; tropospheric warming; temperature change; austral summer; coastal atacama desert; solar radiation; hourly cloudiness observations; precipitation data; daily observations; annual scale; arid region; subtropical anticyclone; antarctic oscillation; circulation anomalies; central andes; maritime boundary layer; extratropical west coast; academic press; rainfall series; annual rainfall series; interdecadal climate variability; southern hemisphere; interdecadal variability; coastal stations; temperature precipitation; southern hemisphere meteorology; geophysical research letters; black line

Entité nommée
Entité nommée - Emplacement géographique
  • La Serena
  • Peru
  • Iquique
  • Houston
  • American
  • America
  • Gif-sur-Yvette
  • Arica
  • France
  • Antofagasta
  • Lima
Entité nommée - Organisme
  • Chile, Santiago, Chile ABSTRACT
  • Department of Geophysics of the Universidad
  • German National Merit Foundation
  • UK Met Of
Entité nommée - Personne
J. P. Boisierb; S. Copyright; La Serena; N. Schulz; Hadley Centre; Simon Laplace; Chile; I. List; SON Year; Juan Quintana; S. Reduction; Coquimbo; El Ni; J. Climatol; La Ni; Society; Andes Cordillera; SON Number; Dave Rahn; P. Aceitunoc
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