CR 64:227-242 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01328

Temperature and precipitation signals over China with a 2°C global warming

Yue Sui1,2,6, Xianmei Lang1,3,4, Dabang Jiang1,3,5,*

1Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, PR China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, PR China
3CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, PR China
4Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, PR China
5Joint Center for Global Change Studies, Beijing 100875, PR China
6Present address: School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, PR China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Based on the experiments of 26 global climate models (GCMs) participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), we projected climate change relative to the period of 1986-2005 over China associated with a 2°C increase in global temperature above pre-industrial levels, based on Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 (RCP4.5) and 8.5 (RCP8.5). Results indicate that under RCP4.5 (RCP8.5), a global warming of 2°C will occur in the year 2059 (2045), accompanied by an atmospheric CO2-equivalent concentration of 550 (585) ppm. Annual (seasonal) warming averages of 2.6°C (2.4-2.8°C) over the entire country as well as local warming are projected to be greater than the natural internal variability, with an average regional annual (seasonal) signal-to-noise ratio of 4 (2-3). Projections of annual (seasonal) precipitation over China vary from –2 to +20% (–13 to +39%), averaging 7% (5-13%). Precipitation will increase over most of China, except for the southwestern part in winter and northeastern part in summer, with an increase in heavy rainfall days. Meanwhile, almost all local precipitation changes are projected to be smaller than the natural internal variability. Using the 5-95% range among the 26 GCMs as a measure of uncertainty, regional averages of annual (seasonal) temperature and precipitation changes are projected to be 1.1-3.2°C (0.6-3.8°C) and –9 to 29% (–23 to 60%), respectively, with corresponding signal-to-noise ratios of 1.9-6.3 (0.4-5.7) and –0.5 to 1.6 (–0.5 to 1.4), respectively.


KEY WORDS: 2°C global warming · Regional climate change · Signal-to-noise ratio · China


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Cite this article as: Sui Y, Lang X, Jiang D (2015) Temperature and precipitation signals over China with a 2°C global warming. Clim Res 64:227-242. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01328

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