Estimation of sampling error uncertainties in observed surface air temperature change in China

Abstract

This study examines the sampling error uncertainties in the monthly surface air temperature (SAT) change in China over recent decades, focusing on the uncertainties of gridded data, national averages, and linear trends. Results indicate that large sampling error variances appear at the station-sparse area of northern and western China with the maximum value exceeding 2.0 K2 while small sampling error variances are found at the station-dense area of southern and eastern China with most grid values being less than 0.05 K2. In general, the negative temperature existed in each month prior to the 1980s, and a warming in temperature began thereafter, which accelerated in the early and mid-1990s. The increasing trend in the SAT series was observed for each month of the year with the largest temperature increase and highest uncertainty of 0.51 ± 0.29 K (10 year)−1 occurring in February and the weakest trend and smallest uncertainty of 0.13 ± 0.07 K (10 year)−1 in August. The sampling error uncertainties in the national average annual mean SAT series are not sufficiently large to alter the conclusion of the persistent warming in China. In addition, the sampling error uncertainties in the SAT series show a clear variation compared with other uncertainty estimation methods, which is a plausible reason for the inconsistent variations between our estimate and other studies during this period.

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Hua, W., Shen, S.S.P., Weithmann, A. et al. Estimation of sampling error uncertainties in observed surface air temperature change in China. Theor Appl Climatol 129, 1133–1144 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-016-1836-4

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Keywords

  • Sampling Error
  • Move Time Window
  • Sampling Error Variance
  • United States Historical Climatology Network
  • China Homogenize Historical Temperature