Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 128, Issue 3–4, pp 945–958 | Cite as

Multiscale evolution of surface air temperature in the arid region of Northwest China and its linkages to ocean oscillations

  • Zhongsheng Chen
  • Yaning ChenEmail author
  • Ling Bai
  • Jianhua Xu
Original Paper


The global climate has experienced unprecedented warming in the past century. The multiscale evolution of the warming is studied to better understand the spatial and temporal variation patterns of temperature. In this study, based on the yearly surface air temperature from the gridded CRU TS 3.22 dataset and the ensemble empirical mode decomposition method (EEMD), we investigated the multiscale evolution of temperature variability in the arid region of Northwest China (ARNC) from 1901 to 2013. Furthermore, the possible influences on the ARNC temperature change from the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and dipole mode index (DMI) were also discussed. The results indicated that in the past century, the overall temperature in the ARNC has showed a significant non-linear upward trend, and its changes have clearly exhibited an interannual scale (quasi-2–3 and quasi-6–7-year) and an interdecadal scale (quasi-14, quasi-24, and quasi-70-year). Compared with the reconstructed interannual variation, the reconstructed interdecadal variability plays a decisive role in the ARNC warming and reveals the climatic pattern transformation from the cold period to the warm period before and after 1987. Additionally, there were also regional differences in the spatial patterns of change trend in the ARNC temperature at a given time. We also found that the AMO and PDO had significant impacts on the ARNC temperature fluctuation at an interdecadal scale, whereas the DMI had a more important role in warming at the annual scale, which suggests that the importance of oceans cannot be ignored when considering climate change. Our findings deepen the understanding of the temperature changes all over the ARNC in the context of global warming.


Pacific Decadal Oscillation Intrinsic Mode Function Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No. 2010CB951003), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41501211), and the Postgraduate Scholarships for Academic Innovation of East China Normal University (No. xrzz2013023).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhongsheng Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yaning Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ling Bai
    • 2
  • Jianhua Xu
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and GeographyChinese Academy of SciencesUrumqiChina
  2. 2.Key laboratory of GIScience of the Ministry of EducationEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina

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