Interdecadal change on the relationship between the mid-summer temperature in South China and atmospheric circulation and sea surface temperature



South China suffers from high temperature frequently in mid-summer and this study aims to explore the interdecadal change of interannual variation of the mid-summer temperature in South China. It is revealed that the relationship between South China temperature and atmospheric circulation and sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) experiences an interdecadal change around the early 1990s. Before the early 1990s, warmer summer in South China is associated with the mid-latitude teleconnection featured by higher pressure over the Ural Mountains and the Korean Peninsula and lower pressure around the Lake Baikal. South China is located at the southern flank of an anomalous high pressure. After the early 1990s, South China temperature is prominently influenced by the tropical SSTA, and meanwhile the mid-latitude teleconnection becomes much weaker. Warmer summer is associated with higher pressure centered over South China and the El Niño to La Niña transition phase. The higher pressure influencing South China is located more southwards after the early 1990s, and it is favored by the tropical SSTA. The warmer SST in summer over the western tropical Pacific enhances the local convection and triggers an anomalous local Hadley cell with stronger subsidence over South China, directly leading to higher pressure over South China. Moreover, the colder SST over the central–eastern Pacific induces an anomalous Walker circulation and further strengthens the convection over the western tropical Pacific, exerting an indirect impact on the higher pressure over South China. The relative role of the western Pacific warming and central–eastern Pacific cooling is verified by CAM4 simulations. The intimate relationship between the tropical SSTA and South China temperature occurs during the El Niño to La Niña transition phase, which is the case after the early 1990s and suggests higher predictability for South China temperature in the recent decades.


Interdecadal change Interannual variation Mid-summer temperature South China 


  1. Chen Z, Wen Z, Wu R et al (2015) Relative importance of tropical SST anomalies in maintaining the Western North Pacific anomalous anticyclone during El Niño to La Niña transition years. Clim Dyn 46:1027–1041CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen R, Wen Z, Lu R (2016) Evolutions of the circulation anomalies and the quasi-biweekly oscillations associated with extreme heat events in South China. J Clim 29:6909–6921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen J, Wen Z, Wu R et al (2017) An interdecadal change in the intensity of interannual variability in summer rainfall over southern China around early 1990s. Clim Dyn 48:191–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dee D, Uppala S, Simmons A et al (2011) The ERA-interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Q J R Meteorol Soc 137:553–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ding T, Qian W (2012) Statistical characteristics of heat wave precursors in China and model prediction. Chin J Geophys 55:1472–1486 (Chinese) Google Scholar
  6. Ding Y, Wang Z, Sun Y (2008) Inter-decadal variation of the summer precipitation in East China and its association with decreasing Asian summer monsoon. Part I: observed evidences. Int J Climatol 28:1139–1161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gao R, Wang L, Gao G (2008) The trend of variation in high temperature days during 1956–2006 in China. Adv Clim Change Res 4:177–181 (Chinese) Google Scholar
  8. Gong D, Pan Y, Wang J (2004) Changes in extreme daily mean temperatures in summer in eastern China during 1955–2000. Theor Appl Climatol 77:25–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. He F, Xu J, Zhou W et al (2008) Evaluation on effects of meteorological conditions on electrical comsumption in megathermal days of Shanghai. Plateau Meteorol 27(Suppl):210–217 (Chinese) Google Scholar
  10. Hu Z (1997) Interdecadal variability of summer climate over East Asia and its association with 500 hPa height and global sea surface temperature. J Geophy Res Atmos 102(D16):19403–19412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kwon M, Jhun J, Wang B et al (2005) Decadal change in relationship between east Asian and WNP summer monsoons. Geophys Res Lett 32:101–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kwon M, Jhun J, Ha K (2007) Decadal change in east Asian summer monsoon circulation in the mid-1990s. Geophys Res Lett 34:377–390Google Scholar
  13. Li T, Du Y, Mo Y et al (2014) Human health risk assessment of heat wave based on vulnerability: a review of recent studies. J Environ Health 31:547–550 (Chinese) Google Scholar
  14. Li Z, Cao L, Zhu Y, Yan Z (2016) Comparing two homogenized datasets of daily maximum/mean/minimum temperatures in China during 1960–2013. J Meteorol Res 30:53–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Liebmann B, Smith C (1996) Description of a complete (interpolated) outgoing longwave radiation dataset. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 77:1275–1277Google Scholar
  16. Luo Q, Ji Z (2005) Climatological analysis of anomalous summer temperature patterns in Guangdong province. J Trop Meteorol 21:427–434 (Chinese) Google Scholar
  17. Neale R, Richter J, Park S et al (2013) The mean climate of the community atmosphere model (CAM4) in forced SST and fully coupled experiments. J Clim 26:5150–5168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rayner N, Parker D, Horton E et al (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res 108:1063–1082CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ren G, Shen A, Ling C (2011) Cause and forecast of abnormal temperature in southern China during midsummer. J Meteorol Res Appl 32:1–5 (Chinese) Google Scholar
  20. Sui C, Chung P, Li T (2007) Interannual and interdecadal variability of the summertime western North Pacific subtropical high. Geophys Res Lett 34:93–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sun J, Wang H, Yuan W (2011) Decadal variability of the extreme hot event in China and its association with atmospheric circulations. Clim Environ Res 16:199–208 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  22. Wang B, Wu R, Fu X (2000) Pacific–East Asian teleconnection: how does ENSO affect East Asian climate? J Clim 13:1517–1536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wang B, Huang F, Wu Z et al (2009) Multi-scale climate variability of the South China sea monsoon: a review. Dyn Atmos Oceans 47:15–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wang W, Zhou W, Wang X et al (2013) Summer high temperature extremes in Southeast China associated with the East Asian jet stream and circumglobal teleconnection. J Geophy Res Atmos 118:8306–8319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wang W, Zhou W, Li X et al (2016) Synoptic-scale characteristics and atmospheric controls of summer heat waves in China. Clim Dyn 46:2923–2941CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wei K, Chen W (2009) Climatology and trend of high temperature extremes across China in summer. Atmos Ocean Sci Lett 2:153–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wu R, Wen Z, Yang S, Li Y (2010) An interdecadal change in southern China summer rainfall around 1992/93. J Clim 23:2389–2403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Yan L, Huang X (2005) On anomalous climatic change of South China temperature in July. Meteorology 31:64–67 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  29. Yang H, Li C (2005) Diagnostic study of serious high temperature over South China in 2003 summer. Clim Environ Res 10:80–85 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  30. Yim S, Jhun J, Yeh S (2008) Decadal change in the relationship between east Asian-western North Pacific summer monsoons and ENSO in the mid-1990s. Geophys Res Lett 35:229–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yim S, Wang B, Kwon M (2014) Interdecadal change of the controlling mechanisms for East Asian early summer rainfall variation around the mid-1990s. Clim Dyn 42:1325–1333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zeng J, Zhai Y, Wu Z, Hu K (2011) Effects of high temperature in summer on yield and its components in bitter gourd with 15 cross combinations and strains. Chin J Trop Crops 32:2025–2028 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  33. Zhang H, Wen Z, Wu R et al (2016) Inter-decadal changes in the East Asian summer monsoon and associations with sea surface temperature anomaly in the South Indian Ocean. Clim Dyn. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Monsoon and Environment Research/Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies/School of Atmospheric SciencesSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of Atmospheric SciencesFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate ChangeNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations