Date of Award:

5-2013

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Mathematics and Statistics

Advisor/Chair:

Piotr Stefan Kokoszka

Abstract

The increased concentration of greenhouse gases is associated with the global warming in the lower troposphere. For over twenty years, the space physics community has studied a hypothesis of global cooling in the thermosphere, attributable to greenhouse gases. While the global temperature increase in the lower troposphere has been relatively well established, the existence of global changes in the thermosphere is still under investigation. A central difficulty in reaching definite conclusions is the absence of data with sufficiently long temporal and sufficiently broad spatial coverage. Time series of data that cover several decades exist only in a few separated regions. The space physics community has struggled to combine the information contained in these data, and often contradictory conclusions have been reported based on the analyses relying on one or a few locations. To detect global changes in the ionosphere, we present a novel statistical methodology that uses all data, even those with incomplete temporal coverage. It is based on a new functional regression approach that can handle unevenly spaced, partially observed curves. While this research makes a solid contribution to the space physics community, our statistical methodology is very flexible and can be useful in other applied problems.

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