CR 27:189-195 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/cr027189

Regional structure of global warming across China during the twentieth century

Aigang Lu1,*, Yuanqing He1,2, Zhonglin Zhang1, Hongxi Pang1, Juan Gu1

1Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China

ABSTRACT: A Mann-Kendall trend test was carried out using high-resolution gridded data (0.5° × 0.5°) of time-series for temperature, obtained from the Climatic Research Unit and the Tyndall Center. By comparing episodes of temperature change across China in the course of global warming, a regional temperature structure can be outlined: The temperature-mutation time occurs south of 35°N, and earlier with decreasing latitude, in the 1920s-1940s warming episode, but occurs north of 35°N, and earlier with increasing latitude, in warming since the 1970s. Temperature changes occurred almost simultaneously in eastern China, but the temperature-mutation times are widely different in western China as a result of the strong influence of the Tibetan Plateau. The Tibetan Plateau warmed much earlier in the west and northwest than in the southwest. Regional temperature change is comprehensively influenced by latitude and by landscape formations, as well as by other natural causes and human activities. Latitudinal location and landforms are major factors that influenced the temperature structure in China during the 20th century.

KEY WORDS: temperature variation · Regional response · climatic sensitivity · land form · human activities

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