Detecting spatial differences in thermal stress across China

  • Zhang Jie 
  • Lai Wenli Email author
  • Zhizhong Zhao
  • Hongrui Wang
Original Paper


In this study, we investigate spatial differences in thermal comfort conditions using the net effective temperature (NET) considering the synthetic effects of air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed. Using a daily-scale dataset of maximum air temperature (Tmax), relative humidity, and wind speed from 518 stations during 1960–2016 across China, we analyze the influence of different climate conditions on NET or Tmax at three different levels of hot conditions (35 °C < Tmax < 37 °C, NETTmax35 for HT35 cases; 37 °C < Tmax < 40 °C, NETTmax37 for HT37 cases; NET = 27 °C, NET27 cases). In HT35 (HT37) cases, NETTmax35 (NETTmax37) can reach up to 32 °C (34 °C) in southern China and also can be less than 29 °C (31 °C) in western Northwest China. In NET27 cases as the threshold for the thermal sensation of very hot, Tmax should be over 33 °C in western Northwest China and was less than 30.5 °C in southern China, by contrast. With global warming, there is an increasing trend in the number of extreme hot days in most part of China, but a decreasing trend is detected in the part of Jianghuai region, partly due to the decreasing trend in Tmax.



We wish to thank the editors and three reviewers for their invaluable comments and constructive suggestions to improve the quality of the manuscript.

Funding information

This work is financially supported by Hainan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (SQ2019QNJJ0030) and Geography of Key Disciplines in Hainan Province (2017CXTD006).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhang Jie 
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lai Wenli 
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhizhong Zhao
    • 1
  • Hongrui Wang
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Geography and Environmental ScienceHainan Normal UniversityHaikouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Water SciencesBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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