Application of quantile regression in climate change studies

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Tareghian, Reza
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Climatic change has been observed in many locations and has been seen to have dramatic impact on a wide range of ecosystems. The traditional method to analyse trends in climatic series is regression analysis. Koenker and Bassett (1978) developed a regression-type model for estimating the functional relationship between predictor variables and any quantile in the distribution of the response variable. Quantile regression has received considerable attention in the statistical literature, but less so in the water resources literature. This study aims to apply quantile regression to problems in water resources and climate change studies. The core of the thesis is made up of three papers of which two have been published and one has been submitted. One paper presents a novel application of quantile regression to analyze the distribution of sea ice extent. Another paper investigates changes in temperature and precipitation extremes over the Canadian Prairies using quantile regression. The third paper presents a Bayesian model averaging method for variable selection adapted to quantile regression and analyzes the relationship of extreme precipitation with large-scale atmospheric variables. This last paper also develops a novel statistical downscaling model based on quantile regression. The various applications of quantile regression support the conclusion that the method is useful in climate change studies.
quantile regression, climate change
Tareghian, R. and Rasmussen, P. (2012), Analysis of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent using quantile regression. Int. J. Climatol.. doi: 10.1002/joc.3491