Climate regionalization in Bolivia: A combination of non-hierarchical and consensus clustering analyses based on precipitation and temperature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Climate regionalization is an inseparable part of many climate change and environmental studies. Delineating climatologically homogeneous regions enhances the utility of such studies and reduces the biases due to the uncertainties associated with climate model outputs at individual grid points which both lead to better understanding of the atmospheric mechanisms affecting a region's climate. Throughout time, researchers and statisticians have developed different methods to perform regionalization in which the techniques are highly dependent on the nature and accessibility of the data. This research aims to divide Bolivia into smaller, coherent climate subdivisions. To achieve this goal, we first apply the non-hierarchical k-means clustering method to climatologies of monthly accumulated precipitation and monthly average temperature separately using a gridded observation dataset for Bolivia spanning from 1979 to 2010. The clustering is performed on the two variables separately to avoid arbitrary attribute scaling and information redundancy as well as to gain a better understanding of these individual variables across Bolivia. Consensus clustering then finds the categorical intersection of the two independent clusters to create homogeneous climate regions. Results from this study show that Bolivia can be divided into 10 climatically distinguishable subdivisions largely explicable by topography and latitude, which are the key climate control factors in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4408-4421
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Volume40
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Keywords

  • climate regionalization
  • consensus clustering
  • k-means clustering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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