NEISA Publications and Reports
Keim, B.D., Wilson, A.M., Wake, C.P. and Huntington, T.G. (2003)
Are there spurious temperature trends in the United States Climate Division database? A New England example.
Geophys. Res. Lett.,30, p. 1404-1407. doi:10.1029/2002GL016295.
The United States (U.S.) Climate Division data set is commonly used in applied climatic studies in the United
States. The divisional averages are calculated by including all available stations within a division at any given time.
The averages are therefore vulnerable to shifts in average station location or elevation over time, which may introduce
spurious trends within these data. This paper examines temperature trends within the 15 climate divisions of New
England, comparing the NCDC’s U.S. Divisional Data to the U.S. Historical Climate Network (USHCN) data. Correlation
and multiple regression revealed that shifts in latitude, longitude, and elevation have affected the quality of the
NCDC divisional data with respect to the USHCN. As a result, there may be issues with regard to their use in decadalto
century-scale climate change studies.