Changes of the time-varying percentiles of daily extreme temperature in China


Identifying the air temperature frequency distributions and evaluating the trends in time-varying percentiles are very important for climate change studies. In order to get a better understanding of the recent temporal and spatial pattern of the temperature changes in China, we have calculated the trends in temporal-varying percentiles of the daily extreme air temperature firstly. Then we divide all the stations to get the spatial patterns for the percentile trends using the average linkage cluster analysis method. To make a comparison, the shifts of trends percentile frequency distribution from 1961–1985 to 1986–2010 are also examined. Important results in three aspects have been achieved: (1) In terms of the trends in temporal-varying percentiles of the daily extreme air temperature, the most intense warming for daily maximum air temperature (Tmax) was detected in the upper percentiles with a significant increasing tendency magnitude (>2.5 °C/50year), and the greatest warming for daily minimum air temperature (Tmin) occurred with very strong trends exceeding 4 °C/50year. (2) The relative coherent spatial patterns for the percentile trends were found, and stations for the whole country had been divided into three clusters. The three primary clusters were distributed regularly to some extent from north to south, indicating the possible large influence of the latitude. (3) The most significant shifts of trends percentile frequency distribution from 1961–1985 to 1986–2010 was found in Tmax. More than half part of the frequency distribution show negative trends less than −0.5 °C/50year in 1961–1985, while showing trends less than 2.5 °C/50year in 1986–2010.

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This study was made possible by funding from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.41401511); grants from the open funding from the State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences (OFSLRSS201410); funding from the National Science and Technology Major Project under Grant 14CNIC-032079-32-02; funding from the foundation of the director of Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y34004101A); and funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of Major International (regional) Collaborative Research Project and the National Natural Science Foundation Project (41101342).

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Li, B., Chen, F., Xu, F. et al. Changes of the time-varying percentiles of daily extreme temperature in China. Theor Appl Climatol 130, 1035–1041 (2017).

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  • Extreme Temperature
  • East Asian Summer Monsoon
  • Warming Trend
  • Primary Cluster
  • Great Warming