Advertisement

Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 954–971 | Cite as

Detection, causes and projection of climate change over China: An overview of recent progress

  • Ding Yihui  (丁一汇)
  • Ren Guoyu  (任国玉)
  • Zhao Zongci  (赵宗慈)
  • Xu Ying  (徐影)
  • Luo Yong  (罗勇)
  • Li Qiaoping  (李巧萍)
  • Zhang Jin  (张锦)
Article

Abstract

This article summarizes the main results and findings of studies conducted by Chinese scientists in the past five years. It is shown that observed climate change in China bears a strong similarity with the global average. The country-averaged annual mean surface air temperature has increased by 1.1°C over the past 50 years and 0.5–0.8°C over the past 100 years, slightly higher than the global temperature increase for the same periods. Northern China and winter have experienced the greatest increases in surface air temperature. Although no significant trend has been found in country-averaged annual precipitation, interdecadal variability and obvious trends on regional scales are detectable, with northwestern China and the mid and lower Yangtze River basin having undergone an obvious increase, and North China a severe drought. Some analyses show that frequency and magnitude of extreme weather and climate events have also undergone significant changes in the past 50 years or so.

Studies of the causes of regional climate change through the use of climate models and consideration of various forcings, show that the warming of the last 50 years could possibly be attributed to an increased atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases, while the temperature change of the first half of the 20th century may be due to solar activity, volcanic eruptions and sea surface temperature change. A significant decline in sunshine duration and solar radiation at the surface in eastern China has been attributed to the increased emission of pollutants.

Projections of future climate by models of the NCC (National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration) and the IAP (Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences), as well as 40 models developed overseas, indicate a potential significant warming in China in the 21st century, with the largest warming set to occur in winter months and in northern China. Under varied emission scenarios, the country-averaged annual mean temperature is projected to increase by 1.5–2.1°C by 2020, 2.3–3.3°C by 2050, and by 3.9–6.0°C by 2100, in comparison to the 30-year average of 1961–1990. Most models project a 10%–12% increase in annual precipitation in China by 2100, with the trend being particularly evident in Northeast and Northwest China, but with parts of central China probably undergoing a drying trend. Large uncertainty exists in the projection of precipitation, and further studies are needed. Furthermore, anthropogenic climate change will probably lead to a weaker winter monsoon and a stronger summer monsoon in eastern Asia.

Key words

climate change China detection causes climate models projection 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bueh, C., U. Cubasch, Y. Lin, and L. Ji, 2003: The change of North China climate in transient simulations using the IPCC SRES A2 and B2 scenarios with a coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 20(5), 755–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Che, H. Z., G. Y. Shi, X. Y. Zhang, R. Arimoto, J. Q. Zhao, L. Xu, B. Wang, and Z. H. Chen, 2005: Analysis of 40 years of solar radiation data from China, 1961–2000. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L06803, doi:1029/2004GL022322.Google Scholar
  3. Chen, L., and W. Zhu, 1998: Study on climate change of China over the past 45 years. Acta Meteorologica Sinica, 56(3), 257–271. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  4. Chu, Z., and G. Ren, 2005: Effect of enhanced urban heat island magnitude on average surface air temperature series in Beijing region. Acta Meteorologica Sinica, 63(4), 534–540.Google Scholar
  5. Chu, Z., G. Ren, X. Shao, and H. Liu, 2005: A preliminary reconstruction of mean surface air temperature over the last 1000 years in China. Climatic and Environmental Research, 10(4), 826–836. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  6. Ding, Y., and X. Dai, 1994: Temperature change during the recent 100 years over China. Meteorology Monthly, 20(12), 19–26. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  7. Ding, Y., and Y. Dong, 2005: Asian monsoon and its effect on China climate and environmental changes. Vol. 1, Changes of Climate and Environment in China, Qi et al., Eds., Science Press, Beijing, 398–454.Google Scholar
  8. Ding, Y., and Coauthors, 2006: National Assessment Report of Climate Change (I): Climate change in China and its future trend. Advances in Climate Change Research, 2(1), 3–8. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  9. Ding, Y., and Coauthors, 2007: History and future trend of climate change in China. National Assessment Report on Climate Change, Science Press, Beijing, 3–176. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Ge, Q., J. Zheng, X. Fang, Z. Man, X. Zhang, P. Zhang, and W. Wang, 2003: Winter half-year temperature reconstruction for the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River and Yangtze River, China, during the past 2000 years. The Holocene, 13, 995–1002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gong, D., and S. Wang, 2000: Severe summer rainfall in China associated with the enhanced global warming. Climate Research, 16(1), 51–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Guo, J., and G. Ren, 2005: Characteristics and possible causes of pan-evaporation change of the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, China. Advances in Water Sciences, 16(5), 666–672. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. Hu, Z.-Z., L. Bengtsson, and K. Arpe, 2000: Impact of global warming on the Asian winter monsoon in a coupled GCM. J. Geophys. Res., 105(D4), 4607–4624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hu, Z.-Z., S. Yang, and R. R. Wu, 2003: Long-term climate variations in China and global warming signals. J. Geophys. Res., 108(D19), 4614–4626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. IPCC, 2001: Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Houghton et al., Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 881pp.Google Scholar
  16. Jones, P. D., and M. Hulme, 1996: Calculating regional climatic time series for temperature and precipitation: methods and illustrations. International Journal of Climatology, 16, 361–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jones, P. D., and A. Moberg, 2003: A. Hemispheric and large-scale surface air temperature variations: An extensive revision and an update to 2001. J. Climate, 16, 206–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kimoto, M., 2005: Simulated change of the East Asian circulation under the global warming scenario. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L16701, doi:10.1029/2005GL023383.Google Scholar
  19. Li, X., X. Zhou, W. Li, and L. Chen, 1995: The cooling of Sichuan Province in recent 40 years and its probable mechanisms. Acta Meteorologica Sinica, 9(1), 57–68.Google Scholar
  20. Lin, X., S. Yu, and G. Tong, 1995: Temperature series in China for the last 100 years. Scientia Atmospherica Sinica, 15(5), 525–534. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  21. Luo, Y., Y. Ding, Z. Zhao, X. Gao, Y. Xu, and Z. Xie, 2005: Projection of the future anthropogenic climate change in China. Assessment of Climate and Environment Changes in China (I): Climate and Environment Changes in China and their Projection, Qin et al., Eds., China Science Press, 507–555. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  22. Ren, G., and J. Guo, 2006: Change in pan evaporation and the influential factors over China: 1956–2000. Journal of Natural Resources, 21(1), 31–44. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  23. Ren, G., J. Guo, M. Xu, Z. Chu, L. Zhang, X. Zou, Q. Li, and X. Liu, 2005: Climate changes of Mainland China over the past half century. Acta Meteorologica Sinica, 63(6), 942–956. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  24. Ren, F., G. Wu, W. Dong, X. Wang, Y. Wang, W. Ai, and W. Li, 2006: Change in tropical cyclone precipitation over China. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L20702, doi:10.1029/2006GL027951.Google Scholar
  25. Shao, X., L. Huang, H. Liu, E. Liang, X. Fang, and L. Wang, 2004: Annual precipitation change of the past 1000 years as reconstructed from tree-rings on eastern rim of the Caidamu Basin. Sciences in China (D), 34(2), 145–153. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  26. Tang, G., and G. Ren, 2005: Reanalysis of surface air temperature change of the past 100 years over China. Climate and Environmental Research, 10(4), 791–798. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. Wang, S., 2001: Advances on Modern Climatic Research, China Meteorological Press, Beijing, 458pp. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  28. Wang, S., and D. Gong, 2000: Enhancement of the warming trend in China. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27(16), 2581–2584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wang, S., J. Ye, and D. Gong, 1998: Construction of annual mean temperature series of the last 100 years over China. Journal of Applied Meteorological Science, 9(4), 392–401. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  30. Wang, S., Z. Xie, J. Cai, J. Zhu, and D. Gong, 2002: A study on the global mean air temperature for recent 1000-yr. Progress in Natural Science, 12, 1145–1149Google Scholar
  31. Wang, X., and G. Shi, 2001: Numerical investigation on the climate effects of anthropogenic sulfate aerosols. Plateau Meteorology, 20(3), 258–263. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  32. Wu, J., W. Jiang, C. Fu, B. Su, H. Liu, and J. Tang, 2004: Simulation of the radiative effect of black carbon aerosols and the regional climate responses over China. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 21, 637–649.Google Scholar
  33. Xu, Y., 2002: A study of numerical simulation of impact of human activities on climate change. Ph. D. dissertation, Chinese Academy of Metorological Sciences, Beijing, 244pp.Google Scholar
  34. Xu, Y., Y. Dingi, Z. Zhao, and J. Zhang, 2003a: A Scenario of Seasonal Climate Change of the 21st Century in Northwest China. Climatic and Environmental Research, 8, 19–25. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  35. Xu, Y., Y. Ding, and Z. Zhao, 2003b: Scenario of temperature and precipitation change in Northwest China due to human activity in the 21st century. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 25, 327–330. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  36. Xu, Y., Y. Ding, and Z. Zhao, 2003c: Prediction of climate change in middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in the 21st century. Journal of Natural Disasters, 13, 25–31. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  37. Xu, Y., Y. Luo, Z. Zhao, X. Gao, Y. Liu, L. Wang, and M. Wei, 2005: Detection of climate change in the 20th century by the BCC-AGCM1.0 model. Special Report on Climate Change, 6, 1–7.Google Scholar
  38. Zeng, Z., Z. Yan, and D. Ye, 2001: Regions of most significant temperature trend during the last century. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 18(4), 481–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhai, P., and R. E. Eskridge, 1997: Atmospheric water vapor over China. J. Climate, 10, 2643–2652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhai, P., and F. Ren, 1997: Changes in maximum and minimum temperatures of the past 40 years over China. Acta Meteorologica Sinica, 55(4), 418–429. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  41. Zhai, P., and X. Pan, 2003: Trends in temperature extremes during 1951–1999 in China. Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(17), CLM 9(1–4).Google Scholar
  42. Zhai, P., A. Sun, F. Ren, X. Liu, B. Go, and Q. Zhang, 1999: Changes of climatic extremes in China. Climatic Change, 42(1), 203–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhao, Z., and Y. Xu, 2002: Detection and projection of temperature change in East Asia for the 20th and 21st centuries. Review of World Resources(USA), 9, 223–234.Google Scholar
  44. Zhao, Z., A. Sumi, C. Harada, and T. Nozawa, 2003: Projections of extreme temperature over East Asia for the 21st century as simulated by the CCSR/NIES2 coupled model. Proc., International Symposium on Climate Change, 158–164.Google Scholar
  45. Zhao, Z., A. Sumi, C. Harada, and T. Nozawa, 2004: Detection and projections of floods/droughts over East Asia for the 20th and 21st centuries due to human emission. World Resource Review (USA), 16(3), 312–329.Google Scholar
  46. Zhao, Z., S. Wang, Y. Xu, G. Ren, Y. Luo, and X. Gao, 2005a: Attribution of the 20th century climate warming in China. Climatic and Environmental Research, 10(4), 808–817. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  47. Zhao, Z., Y. Ding, Y. Luo, and S. Wang, 2005b: Recent studies on attributions of climate change in China. Acta Meteorologica Sinica, 19, 389–400.Google Scholar
  48. Zhou, T., and Z. Zhao, 2006: Attribution of the climate warming in China for the 20th century. Advances in Climate Change Research, 2(1), 28–31. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  49. Zhou, T., and R. Yu, 2006: 20th century surface air temperature over China and the globe simulated by coupled climate models. J. Climate, 19(22), 5843–5858.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ding Yihui  (丁一汇)
    • 1
  • Ren Guoyu  (任国玉)
    • 1
  • Zhao Zongci  (赵宗慈)
    • 1
  • Xu Ying  (徐影)
    • 1
  • Luo Yong  (罗勇)
    • 1
  • Li Qiaoping  (李巧萍)
    • 1
  • Zhang Jin  (张锦)
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Climate StudiesChina Meteorological AdministrationBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations