Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 120, Issue 3–4, pp 773–783 | Cite as

Spatial variability of the trends in climatic variables across China during 1961–2010

  • Hanbo Yang
  • Dawen Yang
  • Qingfang Hu
  • Huafang Lv
Original Paper


Distribution of meteorological stations is not uniform in many regions of the world, especially in developing countries like China. To eliminate the effect of uneven stations, this study produced a data set of areal average precipitation, air temperature, solar radiation, and wind speed from 736 meteorological station observations during 1961–2010 using an inverse-distance weighted technique. Based on the data set, this study detected the trends in climatic variables. Precipitation has a slight but no significant (p = 0.78) trend for the whole of China and has a significant increase trend in northwest China. Surface air temperature has a significant (p < 0.001) accelerating warming trend of 0.032 °C/a for the whole of China, and spatially larger in northern China than that in southern China. Solar radiation has a significant (p < 0.001) dimming trend of −0.14 W/(m2 · a) for the whole of China, and the largest dimming trend appears in eastern China, the possible cause for which is a high-aerosol concentration. Surface wind speed has a significant (p < 0.001) stilling trend of −0.012 m/(s·a) for the whole of China, the causes for which were speculated the changes in atmospheric circulation and surface roughness, as well as increases in aerosol concentration and the decrease in the south-north temperature gradient in China. In addition, three large-scale instrument replacements increase uncertainties of the trend analysis.


Wind Speed Warming Trend Yangtze River Basin Yellow River Basin Pearl River Basin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research funding was from the “12th Five-Year” National Key Technology Research and Development Program (No. 2013BAB05B03), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51379098, 51109222, and 51109136), and the Tsinghua University Initiative Scientific Research Program (No. 20131089284). In addition, this research was benefited from the China Meteorological Data Sharing Service System providing the meteorological data. The authors would like to express their appreciation to the editors and the two anonymous reviewers, whose comments and suggestions led to significant improvements in the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanbo Yang
    • 1
  • Dawen Yang
    • 1
  • Qingfang Hu
    • 2
  • Huafang Lv
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydro-Science and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Nanjing Hydraulic Research InstituteNanjingChina

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