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Asian climate warming since 1901: observation and simulation

Xiubao Sun, Guoyu Ren, Yuyu Ren*, Wei Lin, Panfeng Zhang, Siqi Zhang, Xiaoying Xue

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The land surface air temperature in Asia is increasing significantly since the 1950s. However, the current understanding of Asian warming since 1901 in observations and simulations is still poor. Based on a newly developed observation dataset with 2,658 stations and Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5/6 (CMIP5/6) output data in Asia, here we analyze the changes in the mean (Tmean), maximum (Tmax), minimum (Tmin) temperature, and diurnal temperature range (DTR) over Asia during 1901-2100. Generally, the annual mean land surface air temperature over Asia increased significantly, and Tmean, Tmax, and Tmin increased by 1.81 °C, 1.47 °C, and 2.15 °C during 1901-2020, respectively. This suggests that the Tmin warming rate is about 1.5 times the Tmax, resulting in the decline of the Asian DTR by 0.68°C since 1901. We also found that Asia has experienced more substantial warming than the global and Northern hemispheres, and the decline in DTR is more substantial. Spatially, Asia exhibits a general warming trend with a gradual increase in spatial warming from low to high latitudes, and the effect of high-latitude warming has gradually strengthened since the 2000s. Seasonally, the Asian warming in the cold season is stronger than in the warm season. Furthermore, the CMIP5/6 can capture the Asian warming in the historical period (1901-2020). However, they underestimated Tmin and overestimated Tmax, contributing to their poor performance in simulating the historical change of DTR. Under Shared Socioeconomic Pathway 2-4.5 (SSP2-4.5), the Asian Tmean, Tmax, and Tmin are projected to increase by 3.5 °C/century, 3.4 °C/century, and 3.7 °C/century during 2021-2100, respectively. The Asian warming rate under the SSP5-8.5 is about two times that of the SSP2-4.5.