Projected Changes in Extreme High Temperature and Heat Stress in China
High temperature accompanied with high humidity may result in unbearable and oppressive weather. In this study, future changes of extreme high temperature and heat stress in mainland China are examined based on daily maximum temperature (Tx) and daily maximum wet-bulb globe temperature (Tw). Tw has integrated the effects of both temperature and humidity. Future climate projections are derived from the bias-corrected climate data of five general circulation models under the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 2.6 and 8.5 scenarios. Changes of hot days and heat waves in July and August in the future (particularly for 2020–50 and 2070–99), relative to the baseline period (1981–2010), are estimated and analyzed. The results show that the future Tx and Tw of entire China will increase by 1.5–5°C on average around 2085 under different RCPs. Future increases in Tx and Tw exhibit high spatial heterogeneity, ranging from 1.2 to 6°C across different regions and RCPs. By around 2085, the mean duration of heat waves will increase by 5 days per annum under RCP8.5. According to Tx, heat waves will mostly occur in Northwest and Southeast China, whereas based on Tw estimates, heat waves will mostly occur over Southeast China and the mean heat wave duration will be much longer than those from Tx. The total extreme hot days (Tx or Tw > 35°C) will increase by 10–30 days. Southeast China will experience the severest heat stress in the near future as extreme high temperature and heat waves will occur more often in this region, which is particularly true when heat waves are assessed based on Tw. In comparison to those purely temperature-based indices, the index Tw provides a new perspective for heat stress assessment in China.
Key wordshigh temperature wet-bulb globe temperature heat stress climate change
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
We acknowledge the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP) coordination team for providing the bias-corrected GCM climate data (https://www.isimip.org/).
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 1984: Prevention of thermal injuries during distance running. Phys. Sportsmed., 12, 43–51, doi: 10.1080/00913847.1984.11701899.Google Scholar
- Barriopedro, D., E. M. Fischer, and J. Luterbacher, 2011: The hot summer of 2010: Redrawing the temperature record map of Europe. Science, 332, 220–224, doi: 10.1126/science. 1201224.Google Scholar
- Budd, G. M., 2008: Wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT)-Its history and its limitations. J. Sci. Med. Sport, 11, 20–32, doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2007.07.003.Google Scholar
- China Meteorological Administration, 2015: QX/T 280–2015 Monitoring indices of high temperature extremes. Available at http://www.cmastd.cn/standardView.jspx?id=2103. Accessed on 26 March 2017. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
- Grazzini F., L. Ferranti, F. Lalaurette, et al., 2003: The exceptional warm anomalies of summer 2003. ECMWF Newslett., 99, 2–9.Google Scholar
- Herring S. C., A. Hoell, M. P. Hoerling, et al., 2016: Explaining extreme events of 2015 from a climate perspective. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 97, S1–S145, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-ExplainingExtremeEvents2015.1.Google Scholar
- IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. T. F. Stocker, et al., Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp.Google Scholar
- Lorenz R., D. Argüeso, M. G. Donat, et al., 2016: Influence of land–atmosphere feedbacks on temperature and precipitation extremes in the GLACE-CMIP5 ensemble. J. Geophys. Res., 121, 607–623, doi: 10.1002/2015JD024053.Google Scholar
- Wang J. X. L., and D. J. Gaffen, 2001: Trends in extremes of surface humidity, temperature, and summertime heat stress in China. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 18, 742–751.Google Scholar
- Zhang Q., M. Z. Xiao, V. P. Singh, et al., 2015: Observational evidence of summer precipitation deficit-temperature coupling in China. J. Geophys. Res., 120, 10040–10049, doi: 10.1002/2015JD023830.Google Scholar