Based on a 153-year (1948–2100) transient simulation of East Asian climate performed by a high resolution regional climate model (RegCM3) under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A1B scenario, the potential future changes in mean and extreme climates over China in association with a global warming of 2°C with respect to pre-industrial times are assessed in this study. Results show that annual temperature rises over the whole of China, with a greater magnitude of around 0.6°C compared to the global mean increase, at the time of a 2°C global warming. Large-scale surface warming gets stronger towards the high latitudes and on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, while it is similar in magnitude but somewhat different in spatial pattern between seasons. Annual precipitation increases by 5.2%, and seasonal precipitation increases by 4.2%–8.5% with respect to the 1986–2005 climatology. At the large scale, apart from in boreal winter when precipitation increases in northern China but decreases in southern China, annual and seasonal precipitation increases in western and southeastern China but decreases over the rest of the country. Nationwide extreme warm (cold) temperature events increase (decrease). With respect to the 1986–2005 climatology, the country-averaged annual extreme precipitation events R5d, SDII, R95T, and R10 increase by 5.1 mm, 0.28 mm d−1, 6.6%, and 0.4 d respectively, and CDD decreases by 0.5 d. There is a large spatial variability in R10 and CDD changes.


2°C global warming regional climate model mean and extreme climates China projection

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© The Author(s) 2012