Change features of time-series climate variables from 1962 to 2016 in Inner Mongolia, China

  • Lili XuEmail author
  • Guangming Yu
  • Wenjie Zhang
  • Zhenfa Tu
  • Wenxia Tan


Detecting change features of climate variables in arid/semi-arid areas is essential for understanding related climate change patterns and the driving and evolution mechanism between climate and arid/semi-arid ecosystems. This paper takes Inner Mongolia of China, a unique arid/semi-arid ecosystem, as the study area. We first detected trend features of climate variables using the linear trend analysis method and then detected their trend-shift features using the breaks for additive seasonal and trend method based on the time-series of monthly precipitation and monthly mean temperature datasets from 1962 to 2016. We analyzed the different change features of precipitation and temperature on a regional scale and in different ecological zones to discover the spatial heterogeneity of change features. The results showed that Inner Mongolia has become warmer-wetter during the past 54 years. The regional annual mean temperature increased 0.4°C per decade with a change rate of 56.2%. The regional annual precipitation increased 0.07 mm per decade with a slightly change rate of about 1.7%, but the trend was not statistically significant. The warmer trend was contributed by the same positive trend in each season, while the wetter trend was contributed by the negative trend of the summer precipitation and the positive trend of the other three seasons. The regional monthly precipitation series had a trend-shift pattern with a structural breakpoint in the year 1999, while the regional monthly mean temperature series showed an increasing trend without a periodical trend-shift. After the year 2000, the warmer-wetter trend of the climate in Inner Mongolia was accelerated. The late 20th century was a key period, because the acceleration of the wetter trend in some local zones (I and II) and the alleviation of the warmer trend in some local zones (VII, VIII and IX) occurred simultaneously. Moreover, the change features had a strong spatial heterogeneity, the southeastern and southwestern of Inner Mongolia went through a warmer-drier trend compared with the other areas. The spatio-temporal heterogeneity of the climate change features is a necessary background for various types of research, such as regional climate change, the evolution of arid/semi-arid ecosystems, and the interaction mechanisms between climate and arid/semi-arid ecosystems based on earth-system models in Inner Mongolia.


temperature precipitation trend feature trend-shift feature arid/semi-arid area 


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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41701474, 41701467), the National Key Research and Development Plan of China (2016YFC0500205), the National Basic Research Program of China (2015CB954103) and the Key Laboratory for National Geograophy State Monitoring (National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation; 2017NGCM09). The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive criticism and comments.


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Copyright information

© Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lili Xu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Guangming Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wenjie Zhang
    • 3
    • 4
  • Zhenfa Tu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wenxia Tan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Geographical Process Analysis & Simulation of Hubei ProvinceCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.College of Urban and Environmental SciencesCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information SystemInstitute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchBeijingChina
  4. 4.Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster (C3)University of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia

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