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Spatiotemporal trends of temperature and precipitation extremes across contrasting climatic zones of China during 1956–2015

  • Jing Zheng
  • Junliang FanEmail author
  • Fucang Zhang
Original Paper

Abstract

Spatiotemporal changes of temperature and precipitation extremes from 1956 to 2015 were analyzed at 200 representative weather stations evenly distributed in the temperate continental zone (TCZ), temperate monsoon zone (TMZ), mountain plateau zone (MPZ), and (sub) tropical monsoon zone (SMZ) of China, using 16 extreme temperature and 11 extreme precipitation indexes. The results showed that warm days (TX90p) and warm nights (TN90p) increased significantly, while cool days (TX10p) and cool nights (TN10p) decreased significantly in the whole China. Overall increasing trends were found for maximum and minimum daily maximum temperature (TXx and TXn) and maximum and minimum daily minimum temperature (TNx and TNn). Warm indexes, including summer days (SU25), tropical nights (TR20), warm spell duration indicator (WSDI), and growing season length (GSL), showed increasing trends, whereas cold indexes such as frost days (FD0), ice days (ID0), cold spell duration indicator (CSDI), and diurnal temperature range (DTR) showed decreasing trends. These extreme temperature indexes exhibited high correlations with mean air temperature. MPZ exhibited the most remarkable change magnitudes among the four zones, while the smallest changes occurred in SMZ. An accelerating warming trend was particularly observed since 1986. Nationally, only daily rainfall intensity (SDII) showed significantly increasing trends, while the increasing trends of other precipitation indexes were not significant. Apart from consecutive wet days (CWD), changes of precipitation extremes presented increasing trends. PRCPTOT and R10mm exhibited the highest correlation coefficient across contrasting climatic zones. Regionally averaged precipitation totals were decreasing in TMZ during 1956–1985, but increasing trends were identified after 1985. The upward tendency of precipitation totals in MPZ and the west part of TCZ may alleviate the pressure of water shortage in arid and semi-arid regions of China, but the upward trend in SMZ, especially in the coastal areas of southeastern China, may aggravate the risk of flood-induced disasters in these regions.

Keywords

Global warming Temperature extremes Precipitation extremes RClimdex Mann–Kendall test 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors extend their gratitude to the National Meteorological Information Center of China Meteorological Administration for offering the meteorological data.

Funding information

This study was jointly financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51879226) and the “111” Project (B12007).

Supplementary material

704_2019_2942_MOESM1_ESM.docx (50 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 49 kb)

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Agricultural Soil and Water Engineering in Arid and Semiarid Areas of Ministry of EducationNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Water-saving Agriculture in Arid Areas of ChinaNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  3. 3.College of Water Resources and Architectural EngineeringNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina

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