Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 283–293 | Cite as

Projected shifts in Köppen climate zones over China and their temporal evolution in CMIP5 multi-model simulations

  • Duo Chan
  • Qigang WuEmail author
  • Guixiang Jiang
  • Xianglin Dai


Previous studies have examined the projected climate types in China by 2100. This study identified the emergence time of climate shifts at a 1◦ scale over China from 1990 to 2100 and investigated the temporal evolution of Köppen–Geiger climate classifications computed from CMIP5 multi-model outputs. Climate shifts were detected in transition regions (7%–8% of China’s land area) by 2010, including rapid replacement of mixed forest (Dwb) by deciduous forest (Dwa) over Northeast China, strong shrinkage of alpine climate type (ET) on the Tibetan Plateau, weak northward expansion of subtropical winterdry climate (Cwa) over Southeast China, and contraction of oceanic climate (Cwb) in Southwest China. Under all future RCP (Representative Concentration Pathway) scenarios, the reduction of Dwb in Northeast China and ET on the Tibetan Plateau was projected to accelerate substantially during 2010–30, and half of the total area occupied by ET in 1990 was projected to be redistributed by 2040. Under the most severe scenario (RCP8.5), sub-polar continental winter dry climate over Northeast China would disappear by 2040–50, ET on the Tibetan Plateau would disappear by 2070, and the climate types in 35.9% and 50.8% of China’s land area would change by 2050 and 2100, respectively. The results presented in this paper indicate imperative impacts of anthropogenic climate change on China’s ecoregions in future decades.

Key words

Köppen–Geiger climate classification China climate change CMIP5 RCP scenarios 


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© Institute of Atmospheric Physics/Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Duo Chan
    • 1
  • Qigang Wu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guixiang Jiang
    • 1
  • Xianglin Dai
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Atmospheric SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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