Future projection of heat waves over China under global warming within the CORDEX-EA-II project

  • Pinya Wang
  • Pinhong Hui
  • Daokai Xue
  • Jianping TangEmail author


Driven by four global climate models (GCMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) (i.e., CNRM-CM5, EC-EARTH, GFDL-ESM2M and MPI-ESM-LR) under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) scenario, projections for future changes in heat waves over China are performed by Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) model simulations for future (FTR, 2031–2055) and present (1981–2005) periods. Six heat wave indices are applied to characterize heat waves based on their frequency, duration, magnitude, intensity, accumulated occurrence days and severity. Analyses show that notable increases in heat wave indices cover all of China. More areas will endure more frequent, longer lasting and more severe heat waves in the coming decades. The increasing tendencies of heat wave indices in the FTR period are more significant than those at present, indicating that heat waves will intensify more rapidly in the future. The impacts of climate changes on the accumulated properties of heat waves are more substantial than those on the individual aspects of heat waves. It is also projected that stronger heat waves with prolonged durations and more severe magnitudes will occur more often in the FTR period, whereas relatively weaker heat waves would occur less often. Hence, the occurrence of extreme heat waves shows a more remarkable increase than the occurrence of moderate heat waves. The changes in heat waves can be largely explained by the changes in the dominating high-pressure systems.


Heat waves WRF CORDEX-EA-II Future projection 



This work is supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFA0606003) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91425304, 41575099 and 41375075). The authors also acknowledge with thanks the GFDL, CNRM and MPI organizations for providing the CMIP5 data as the driving fields in the WRF simulations, as well as the ICTP for providing the EC-EARTH data.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

382_2019_4621_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2339 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mesoscale Severe Weather/Ministry of EducationNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Atmospheric SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Jiangsu Climate CenterNanjingChina

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