Analyses of observed features and future trend of extreme temperature events in Inner Mongolia of China
Lying in the north boundary of China, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is highly sensitive to climate change, which is greatly influenced by the new features of present-day and future extreme temperature events. Based on daily temperature records of 108 meteorological station from 1961 to 2009 and future projections under the representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios from the regional climate modeling system PRECIS in high-resolution (~ 50 km in horizon), the observed and projected changes in temperature-related extreme climate events over Inner Mongolia are investigated for the present day, the mid-twentieth (2041~2060) century, and the late twenty-first (2071–2090) century. Temperature extremes associated with a warming tendency all show as increasing trend by a slope of around 0.2, especially for growing season length which has a slope of 0.36 at present, and these extreme events are projected to increase with an extension of 5 more warm days during the mid-twenty-first century before increasing less sharply in the late twenty-first century under the RCP2.6 scenario, while the increase of warming extremes are projected as around 15, 30 over most Inner Mongolia, particularly for southwest parts, with an increase over 30, 45 at the end of twenty-first century under the RCP4.5 and 8.5 scenarios respectively. Temperature extremes concomitant with a cooling tendency change with a slope of − 0.261 and − 0.421 for icing and frost days in present-day, and are likely to display a contrary trend as warm extremes over two periods under the RCP2.6 scenario, with a decrease of 10 cold days over the whole Inner Mongolia. While the mid-twenty-first century would go through minor changes of cold extreme as the RCP2.6 scenario under both the RCP4.5 and 8.5 scenarios, the late twenty-first century would witness most dramatic decrease of cold extremes, more specifically, with over 20 and 30 less cold days separately over most areas and particularly over 35 less cold days in central and southwest regions. Since the control of greenhouse gas emissions halts the increase of warming extremes and higher emission scenarios lead to more warm extremes, the benefits and risks of warming trend for central plantation areas and southwest desert regions of Inner Mongolia should be considered comprehensively by local policy making and social-economic development planning.
We would like to thank Dr. Changgui Wang for helping us with the PRECIS 2.0 modeling, and Dr. Bing Rong for his assistance with the RclimDex package.
This study was financially supported by the Key Projects of China’s National Twelfth 5-year Science & Technology Pillar Program (2013BAC09B04), the CAS “Hundred Talents” program (Dr. Weiqiang Ma), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (91637313, 91737205).
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