PREDICTING THE SPATIAL-DISTRIBUTION OF CLIMATE - TEMPERATURE IN GREAT-BRITAIN

JJ LENNON*, JRG TURNER, Jack Lennon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. The prediction and mapping of climate in areas between climate stations is of increasing importance in ecology.

2. Four categories of model, simple interpolation, thin plate splines, multiple linear regression and mixed spline-regression, were tested for their ability to predict the spatial distribution of temperature on the British mainland. The models were tested by external cross-verification.

3. The British distribution of mean daily temperature was predicted with the greatest accuracy by using a mixed model: a thin plate spline fitted to the surface of the country, after correction of the data by a selection from 16 independent topographical variables (such as altitude, distance from the sea, slope and topographic roughness), chosen by multiple regression from a digital terrain model (DTM) of the country.

4. The next most accurate method was a pure multiple regression model using the DTM. Both regression and thin plate spline models based on a few variables (latitude, longitude and altitude) only were comparatively unsatisfactory, but some rather simple methods of surface interpolation (such as bilinear interpolation after correction to sea level) gave moderately satisfactory results. Differences between the methods seemed to be dependent largely on their ability to model the effect of the sea on land temperatures.

5. Prediction of temperature by the best methods was greater than 95% accurate in all months of the year, as shown by the correlation between the predicted and actual values. The predicted temperatures were calculated at real altitudes, not subject to sea-level correction.

6. A minimum of just over 30 temperature recording stations would generate a satisfactory surface, provided the stations were well spaced.

7. Maps of mean daily temperature, using the best overall methods are provided; further important variables, such as continentality and length of growing season, were also mapped. Many of these are believed to be the first detailed representations at real altitude.

8. The interpolated monthly temperature surfaces are available on disk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-392
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Volume64
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1995

Keywords

  • CLIMATE
  • DIGITAL-TERRAIN MODEL
  • MAPPING
  • SPLINES
  • TEMPERATURE
  • SPECIES RICHNESS
  • ENERGY THEORY
  • DIVERSITY
  • PATTERNS

Cite this