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Spatial and temporal stability of temperature in the first-level basins of China during 1951–2013

Abstract

In recent years, global warming has attracted great attention around the world. Temperature change is not only involved in global climate change but also closely linked to economic development, the ecological environment, and agricultural production. In this study, based on temperature data recorded by 756 meteorological stations in China during 1951–2013, the spatial and temporal stability characteristics of annual temperature in China and its first-level basins were investigated using the rank correlation coefficient method, the relative difference method, rescaled range (R/S) analysis, and wavelet transforms. The results showed that during 1951–2013, the spatial variation of annual temperature belonged to moderate variability in the national level. Among the first-level basins, the largest variation coefficient was 114% in the Songhuajiang basin and the smallest variation coefficient was 10% in the Huaihe basin. During 1951–2013, the spatial distribution pattern of annual temperature presented extremely strong spatial and temporal stability characteristics in the national level. The variation range of Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was 0.97–0.99, and the spatial distribution pattern of annual temperature showed an increasing trend. In the national level, the Liaohe basin, the rivers in the southwestern region, the Haihe basin, the Yellow River basin, the Yangtze River basin, the Huaihe basin, the rivers in the southeastern region, and the Pearl River basin all had representative meteorological stations for annual temperature. In the Songhuajiang basin and the rivers in the northwestern region, there was no representative meteorological station. R/S analysis, the Mann-Kendall test, and the Morlet wavelet analysis of annual temperature showed that the best representative meteorological station could reflect the variation trend and the main periodic changes of annual temperature in the region. Therefore, strong temporal stability characteristics exist for annual temperature in China and its first-level basins. It was therefore feasible to estimate the annual average temperature by the annual temperature recorded by the representative meteorological station in the region. Moreover, it was of great significance to assess average temperature changes quickly and forecast future change tendencies in the region.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions.

Funding

This research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program (2016YFC0402404), the National Natural Science Foundations of China (nos. 41330858, 41401316, and 41471226), the New Star Foundation on Shaanxi Province Youth Science and Technology (2016KJXX-68), and the School Foundation of Xi’an University of Technology (310-252071604).

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Correspondence to Guoce Xu.

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Cheng, Y., Li, P., Xu, G. et al. Spatial and temporal stability of temperature in the first-level basins of China during 1951–2013. Theor Appl Climatol 136, 863–874 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-018-2522-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-018-2522-5