Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 343–348 | Cite as

Impact of land use changes on surface warming in China

  • Zhang Jingyong
  • Dong Wenjie
  • Wu Lingyun
  • Wei Jiangfeng
  • Chen Peiyan
  • Dong-Kyou Lee


Land use changes such as urbanization, agriculture, pasturing, deforestation, desertification and irrigation can change the land surface heat flux directly, and also change the atmospheric circulation indirectly, and therefore affect the local temperature. But it is difficult to separate their effects from climate trends such as greenhouse-gas effects. Comparing the decadal trends of the observation station data with those of the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis (NNR) data provides a good method to separate the effects because the NNR is insensitive to land surface changes. The effects of urbanization and other land use changes over China are estimated by using the difference between the station and the NNR surface temperature trends. Our results show that urbanization and other land use changes may contribute to the observed 0.12°C (10yr)−1 increase for daily mean surface temperature, and the 0.20°C (10yr)−1 and 0.03°C (10 yr)−1 increases for the daily minimum and maximum surface temperatures, respectively. The urban heat island effect and the effects of other land-use changes may also play an important role in the diurnal temperature range change. The spatial pattern of the differences in trends shows a marked heterogeneity. The land surface degradation such as deforestation and desertification due to human activities over northern China, and rapidly-developed urbanization over southern China, may have mostly contributed to the increases at stations north of about 38°N and in Southeast China, respectively. Furthermore, the vegetation cover increase due to irrigation and fertilization may have contributed to the decreasing trend of surface temperature over the lower Yellow River Basin. The study illustrates the possible impacts of land use changes on surface temperature over China.

Key words

land use change temperature surface warming 


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Copyright information

© Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhang Jingyong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dong Wenjie
    • 3
  • Wu Lingyun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Jiangfeng
    • 4
  • Chen Peiyan
    • 5
  • Dong-Kyou Lee
    • 2
  1. 1.Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training/Regional Research Center for Temperate East Asia, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijing
  2. 2.Atmospheric Sciences Program, School of Earth and Environmental SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea
  3. 3.National Climate CenterChina Meteorological AdministrationBeijing
  4. 4.School of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.Shanghai Typhoon InstituteChina Meteorological AdministrationShanghai

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