Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 941–951 | Cite as

Characteristics of temperature change in China over the last 2000 years and spatial patterns of dryness/wetness during cold and warm periods

  • Quansheng Ge
  • Haolong Liu
  • Xiang Ma
  • Jingyun Zheng
  • Zhixin HaoEmail author
Original Paper


This paper presents new high-resolution proxies and paleoclimatic reconstructions for studying climate changes in China for the past 2000 years. Multi-proxy synthesized reconstructions show that temperature variation in China has exhibited significant 50–70-yr, 100–120-yr, and 200–250-yr cycles. Results also show that the amplitudes of decadal and centennial temperature variation were 1.3°C and 0.7°C, respectively, with the latter significantly correlated with long-term changes in solar radiation, especially cold periods, which correspond approximately to sunspot minima. The most rapid warming in China occurred over AD 1870–2000, at a rate of 0.56° ± 0.42°C (100 yr)−1; however, temperatures recorded in the 20th century may not be unprecedented for the last 2000 years, as data show records for the periods AD 981–1100 and AD 1201–70 are comparable to the present. The ensemble means of dryness/wetness spatial patterns in eastern China across all centennial warm periods illustrate a tripole pattern: dry south of 25°N, wet from 25°–30°N, and dry to the north of 30°N. However, for all centennial cold periods, this spatial pattern also exhibits a meridional distribution. The increase in precipitation over the monsoonal regions of China associated with the 20th century warming can primarily be attributed to a mega El Ni˜no–Southern Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. In addition, a significant association between increasing numbers of locusts and dry/cold conditions is found in eastern China. Plague intensity also generally increases in concert with wetness in northern China, while more precipitation is likely to have a negative effect in southern China.

Key words

temperature change dry-wet spatial pattern cold and warm periods last 2000 years China 


本文综述了近来中国过去2000年气候变化研究中新取得的高分辨率代用资料和重建序列。结果显示: (1) 中国温度存在50–70年、100–120年和200–250年的准周期变化, 其年代和百年际变幅分别约为1.3℃和0.7℃, 且在百年尺度上与太阳辐射的长期变化显著相关, 尤其是气温寒冷阶段与太阳活动极小期相对应。 (2) 1870–2000年是中国增温最快的阶段, 速率为0.56 ± 0.42°C (100 yr)−1, 但20世纪的气温记录可能并不是过去2000年未曾出现过的, 重建表明公元981–1100年和1201–1270年间的温暖程度可与之相比。 (3) 对中国东部所有百年尺度暖期的集合平均显示其旱涝格局呈三极空间分布: 25°N以南偏旱, 25°–30°N偏涝, 30°N以北偏旱; 而在所有百年尺度冷期旱涝格局则呈经向分布。 (4) 强厄尔尼诺–南方涛动和北大西洋年代际振荡是导致20世纪中国季风区降水增加的主要原因。 (5) 在中国东部, 蝗灾与温度及降水变化显著相关, 干冷气候条件下蝗灾较多; 北部地区的鼠疫与干湿变化呈正相关, 但南方地区的鼠疫却与干湿变化呈负相关。


气温变化 旱涝格局 冷暖期 过去2000年 中国 


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This study was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA050800), the Key Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. KJZD-EW-TZ-G10), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41671201 and 91525101).


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Copyright information

© Chinese National Committee for International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quansheng Ge
    • 1
    • 2
  • Haolong Liu
    • 1
  • Xiang Ma
    • 1
  • Jingyun Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhixin Hao
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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