Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 57, Issue 12, pp 2891–2900 | Cite as

Homogenization of climate series: The basis for assessing climate changes

  • ZhongWei YanEmail author
  • Zhen Li
  • JiangJiang Xia


Long-term meteorological observation series are fundamental for reflecting climate changes. However, almost all meteorological stations inevitably undergo relocation or changes in observation instruments, rules, and methods, which can result in systematic biases in the observation series for corresponding periods. Homogenization is a technique for adjusting these biases in order to assess the true trends in the time series. In recent years, homogenization has shifted its focus from the adjustments to climate mean status to the adjustments to information about climate extremes or extreme weather. Using case analyses of ideal and actual climate series, here we demonstrate the basic idea of homogenization, introduce new understanding obtained from recent studies of homogenization of climate series in China, and raise issues for further studies in this field, especially with regards to climate extremes, uncertainty of the statistical adjustments, and biased physical relationships among different climate variables due to adjustments in single variable series.


climate series inhomogeneity homogenization trends in climate series climate extremes 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment for East Asia (RCE-TEA), Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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