Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 137, Issue 3–4, pp 1637–1642 | Cite as

Shifts in timing of local growing season in China during 1961–2012

  • Jiangjiang XiaEmail author
  • Shaofei Jin
  • Zhongwei Yan
  • Zhe Xiong
  • Ziyan Zheng
  • Zuoqiang Han
Original Paper


The warming rates in China determined by daily minimum temperature (Tmin) are considerably large than those based on daily mean temperature (Tmean); therefore, the thermal growing season indices defined from Tmin are expected to show more pronounced changes than those from Tmean. In this study, we investigate changing rates in the local growing season (LGS) defined using the climatological annual mean Tmin and Tmean as temperature thresholds throughout China for the period 1961–2012. Changes in the thermal growing season indices based on fixed-temperature thresholds such as 0 °C, 5 °C, and 10 °C are analyzed for comparison. Results show that the Tmin-based LGS-lengthening rate (3.0 days per decade) is at least 1.2 times that of the Tmean-based result (2.5 days per decade). It is also suggested that the growing season defined via a fixed-temperature threshold should only be applicable when determining the validity of a particular station in relation to its location. For example, the 0 °C-, 5 °C-, and 10 °C-based growing season definitions are applicable in regions to the north of 36° N, 32° N, and 26° N, respectively, based on Tmean in eastern China and to the north of 33° N, 27° N, and 24° N, respectively, based on Tmin. To the north of 35° N in China, the average Tmin-based growing season lengthening rates are about 1.3, 1.4, and 1.7 times of those Tmean-based rates in case of using the fixed-temperature thresholds of 0 °C, 5 °C, and 10 °C, respectively. Therefore, the changes of the growth of some plant species that are more directly correlated with changes in Tmin should be much more pronounced than those of other species.


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFA0602503).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiangjiang Xia
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shaofei Jin
    • 3
  • Zhongwei Yan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhe Xiong
    • 1
  • Ziyan Zheng
    • 1
  • Zuoqiang Han
    • 4
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment for Temperate East AsiaInstitute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Geography, Ocean CollegeMinjiang UniversityFuzhouChina
  4. 4.Hydrology and Water Resources Information Center, Hydrology Bureau, Yellow River Conservancy Commission, MWRZhengzhouChina

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