The Oslo temperature series 1837–2012: homogeneity testing and temperature analysis

Ø. Nordli, G. Hestmark, R. E. Benestad and K. Isaksen in International Journal of Climatology


A 175 years long homogenized composite record of monthly mean temperatures is presented for Oslo, the capital of Norway. The early raw data have been digitised and quality controlled, and monthly means have been calculated. Some early original observations carried out in a Wild screen (1877–1936) were found to be spuriously high because of inappropriate sheltering from sunlight. These spurious temperatures were not used in the composite record, but alternative temperatures measured (1837–1933) by thermometers placed outside windows at the Astronomical Observatory were used instead. No inhomogeneity was detected in the latter series after adding an instrument correction of +0.3 °C, but the start year of the correction remains uncertain. The more recent part of the composite record used the long-term series (1937 to present) from Blindern in Oslo, the premises of The Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Two small inhomogeneities were detected in the Blindern series, possibly caused by a weak urban heat island effect or growing/cutting of trees. The study revealed that the annual mean temperature has increased by 1.5 °C in the period 1838–2012. The most pronounced increase in annual temperature occurred during the last 50 years, and in the early 20th century that ended with a local maximum in the 1930s. The temperature has increased significantly in all seasons; however, the temperature increase in summer was less than a half of that in winter and spring, which were the seasons with largest increase. In addition the monthly mean temperature of the coldest month in each year has increased two times faster than the warmest one. The most significant temperature variations were associated to ∼ 5-year time scales in its early part, but since 1930 and up to present, the dominant time scales were 10–20 years.

Volume 35, Issue 12, pages 3486–3504, October 2015
Article first published online: 5 December 2014

Tags: International Journal of Climatology;
Published Oct. 12, 2015 11:09 AM - Last modified Oct. 12, 2015 11:09 AM