In this paper, robust statistical methods (including the climatic tendency ratio, inverse distance weight (IDW), and Mann-Kendall’s non-parametric statistical tests) were applied to analyze the annual sequences of meteorological data for the period 1960–2014. The results indicated that the mean annual air temperature in the Pan-Hexi and the surrounding regions has increased by 0.9 °C. Over the 55-year period of study, this represented a warming rate that was significantly higher than the contemporaneous warming rate in China and the rest of the world. The warming trend in northeastern Tibet was the most pronounced. Here, the mean warming rate exhibited an increasing trend from the mid-late 1980s, and the cold season-dominated warming changed to year-round warming. The rise in the amplitude of the mean minimum temperature was significant, and the variation in the amplitude of the extreme minimum temperature was greater than that of the extreme maximum temperature, exhibiting a variation period of approximately 10 years. Since 1960, the mean precipitation in the study region and the surrounding areas first increased, and then decreased, and then increased again rapidly from 2007. Precipitation and relative humidity trend showed a 13- and a 10-year variation period, respectively. Crop evapotranspiration exhibited a decreasing trend, but from 1993 onwards, there was an increasing trend and a 9-year variation period was also notable based on observed datasets. In the most recent 55 years (1960–2014), the sunshine duration and mean wind velocity in the study area first showed a decreasing trend followed by an increasing trend, and then it exhibited a decreasing trend from east to west of the study region. The temporal variations in the climatic elements were similar to those of China, suggesting that the climate change signal in the study region over the last 55 years appeared to be well correlated with the global climate change signal.
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Grants from the Key Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (QYZDJ-SSW-DQC031) supported this research. Dr. R C Deo thanks CAS Presidential Fellowship and USQ Academic Development and Outside Studies Program (ADOSP, 2016) grant. The authors are grateful to anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions that substantially improved the manuscript.
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Wei, L., Feng, Q. & Deo, R.C. Changes in climatic elements in the Pan-Hexi region during 1960–2014 and responses to global climatic changes. Theor Appl Climatol 133, 405–420 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-017-2194-6